September 26, 2018

How to Wand

I thought about writing something non-technical in my blog could be good from time to time. However, it also have a little bit to do with how I work and how I see myself.

Personality test and all the implications

I choose the title based on this incredible peace of art called How to Rands where the author talks to a possible new employee at his company which will be working with him from now on. I've never read something so clear and inspiring about the work-people relationship. Well done!

However, after reading the blog post I remembered that I'm constantly looking for personal answers when work-people relationship problems get in the way. More recently I got paid by my company to perform a personality test.

   

   

Despite the joke above, the test was very serious. I'm basically graduated in Physics and with a very good scientist spirit, therefore I thought this was simply non-sense anyway. However, the Myers & Briggs Foundation is well known for taking this exam.

I will not enter into detail about how the test is done because it would ruined your experience for granted. So, my summary result was the following:

   

   

I was very surprised by the results. During my undergraduate days I was a difficult student for my professors to deal with. I mastered all the wrong subjects that I was supposed to do. I got very excited about a topic and I completely ignored the content for the exams; I started to explore ideas, to discuss with the PhD students, I even published some academic papers during those days. On the other side, I had some bad grades in some classes, I was never the best student in everything. When I disliked something, was reeeeaaalllyy hard to swallow it.

And the report goes on...

   

   

As I am not so good with words, this report was very handy! Thank you Captalys for this opportunity. I would never had the courage to pay for this kind of exam and I would have neglected this wisdom from myself.

During my days working at the University of Houston as a Geophysics Scientists focusing in algorithm development, I had ZERO idea of knowledge about the oil industry when I started. I approached one of the MOST RENOWNED PROFESSORS of the institute and asked him to be my supervisor, Dr. Fred Hilterman.

I assured him that I knew nothing. He only accepts students with perfect grade in his class and even though that are few selected spots. I asked him for 1 week and one chance. I would code an algorithm to perform this seismic modeling stuff and show to him on the weekly based meeting of the group at Saturday. Man, how I worked that week. I struggle so hard to understand each equation, each interaction and each peace of my Matlab code that later go transformed to FORTRAN 77.... But I managed to perform the modeling.

And of course. It was VERY VERY wrong and naive. But that was not for nothing, the end of tis story is right here: Fred Recommentation Letter

I like difficult problems. I worked all alone in my thesis on Global optimization using genetic algorithms, I was the crazy person walking from A to B for no reason other than realizing that after each completed turn I got even more confused.

The last interesting part of the report:

   

   

I realized from undergrad that I really liked the puzzles and challenges of building each of the solutions for the problems at hand. The problem with the real-world is that most of the time you are trying to get ideas that are apparently solved into real usage. In fact, I give credit to the report again, I am indeed more interested into the ideas. I love to make sense of things through my own prism.

However, the last 4 years thought me much about real world implementation of practically solved problems/ideas. There are several obstacles to put something to actually work. I value a lot more the hard work of sweating and getting things done now.

I think I could develop a very good skill to be able to transit between this two worlds without getting bored or unmotivated. But the management portion of the report continues to be more true than I would like to admit. Being modest, people like the way I conduct my teams, and I think I'm quit good at it, but the effort that I need to do is enormous.

Today I'm trying to transit for a more technical role. I have tons of things to learn and improve, but I think I found what makes me write a blog post at 1:30am after a really long day of work...

If I can give you some final words as advice, I don't know if you already suspects about something that keeps you up late at night, but if you do... try to make this work for 1 year, or 6 months, or 2 months, doesn't matter. But you have to try.

   

   

Tags: personal general