One attribute that I think is more relevant today than ever is to have a broad base of skills with the ability to go deep when needed.
This requires the ability to learn quickly when needed. Which, in turn, requires that we know how to learn quickly.
When I learnt SQL, I had the luxury of time and the ability to simply absorb things slowly, to buy and read books and build a todo list that might take a while to get finished. Those days are fading and a new era of learning is upon us.
Now we are at a point where learning from books (for a lot of things – but not all) is not the best way to go. This is more of a function of how long it takes to write and get a book published – often the content is out of date, even at publication time.
Now we are seeing technology changing that fast that even blog posts and other online content is quickly being out dated. This means we have to be vigilant and look at dates associated with online content and judge if this content is of value any longer.
We need to have side projects where we can experiment, we need to network harder than ever and learn form our friends and peers, we need to share our knowledge and work in teams that have great learning cultures and are happy to experiment.
In summary, I feel the biggest skill that is needed today is the ability to learn quickly – and to have a good strategy to accomplish that. To recognise good mentors, have good foresight and look for opportunities to take on projects that will elevate our learning.
Have a great day.