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Credit: public domain


Andrew Begel

Great engineers ask for help when they need it, overcoming roadblocks with the resources of their team, their organization, and the world. They don't wait for help; they proactively pursue it.

Does this already describe you? That's great! Today you get to hone your skills, reinforcing the importance of resourcefulness. If this doesn't describe you, today you reflect on what's holding you back. Is it fear? Is it a lack of knowledge?

Part of being resourceful is believing—sometimes irrationally—that there is an answer and you can find it. Another part of resourcefulness is knowing where to look for help: will the web have the answer or should you ask an expert or a book? Finally, being resourceful also means knowing when the help you've found is helpful and when its not. That goes back to self-regulation.

To practice resourcefulness, I'm going to give you a particularly difficult feasibility assessment task that will stress your resourcefulness and you will practice 1) believing you can find an answer, 2) searching in the right place, and 3) being aware of when you're on track.

Here's your task for the next 40 minutes:

Imagine that someone gave you a copy of Twitter's follower graph for all of its one billion accounts. How can you visualize a graph this large? Can you make it possible for someone to quickly learn about your instructor's Twitter followers through the visualization?

Ten minutes before class ends, we'll discuss: