A: Be curious. Ask questions: Why is it this way? Why can’t it be a different way? If we can’t solve a certain problem, why don’t we take a different approach? Just by being curious, you can come up with novel approaches.
I would tell new hires, “Don’t worry about what you don’t know. The more curious you are, the more you’ll find solutions to problems you’re assigned…or problems you’re not assigned. I still ask lots of questions. For example, how can we solve one of the pressing problems of the world, like climate change? Our industry uses a lot of compute power, electricity. What if we found a way to reduce that power by 30x but still make compute 30x faster via superconducting electronics?
If you’re always looking at how to apply what you know, figure out things you don’t know, your career will evolve. Also, many people feel intimidated by tech in general. However, there’s an enormous playing field for people who aren’t technical to contribute. At the end of the day, our products and solutions contribute to the whole culture of the world, so we do need a variety of viewpoints.