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December 14, 2007 11:37 AM

Bill Gates on "skills you need to succeed"

Posted by Brier Dudley

In a guest column provided to the BBC, the Microsoft chairman shared tips on how to succeed now that technology has turned most everyone into an "information worker."

Math and science are important, but so are communication skills. Gates also said he also values "a passion for ongoing learning."

An excerpt:

A lot of people assume that creating software is purely a solitary activity where you sit in an office with the door closed all day and write lots of code.

This isn't true at all.

Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.

I also place a high value on having a passion for ongoing learning. When I was pretty young, I picked up the habit of reading lots of books.

It's great to read widely about a broad range of subjects. Of course today, it's far easier to go online and find information about any topic that interests you.

The timing's interesting -- the feel-good piece appears the day after Norwegian browser-maker Opera asked the European Commission to open a new front in its antitrust case against Microsoft -- but so far the piece is drawing lots of praise in the comment section.

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Posted by Moe

7:54 AM, Dec 17, 2007

Interesting piece by Bill Gates - though the same principles of "lifetime learning" can also be applied to medicine, law, anthropology and carpentry. There is always something new to learn no matter what your chosen field of study or career. As to all of us being "information workers" I doubt that the poor chap flipping burgers feels they are providing iinformation to the public since his tech job got outsourced to China the other year. Hard to imagine that Bill and Microsoft would ever put a spin on "learning" that suits Microsoft; I thought they only put spin on their products.

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