Perhaps innovation is the intersection between curiosity and experimentation?

That’s why, from the moment our kids are old enough to play, we coders embark on a mission to inspire them to create.

All of us are naturally curious. I see this especially in our consulting team members, who have an innate sense of curiosity.

Almost insatiable.

They have a need to learn new things, embark on new challenges and solve problems. They’re curious about the ‘why’ more than just the ‘what’ or ‘how.’ Why does this work?

Clients know this and that’s why they partner with us, to inspire this level of thinking.

Curiosity Runs in the Family

Curiosity drives into more than just work, however. Out of 10 Centric employees, at least eight are working on something on their own at home. It’s an attempt to satisfy their personal curiosity and happens among leadership all the way down to our newest consultants.

I’d venture to say it’s in our blood and in that of our families, especially our children. They feel it too.

Just look at the chain reaction one of my emails sparked this summer. The subject line: Coding Plunge for a 15-year-old. The audience: Centric’s technology list, an internal email distribution list anyone can sign up for who is interested in technology, innovation and the future of IT.

Here’s the crux of the email:

“Good morning folks. 

My 15-year-old, out-of-the-blue, said he was interested in learning how to develop software. He’s really good with logic, great at math, and I think he’d enjoy it. He’s had some exposure in the past (mostly with online tools, Kahn academy, etc.) but I’d like to give him a challenge.

  1. Do you recommend a language to start with? He’s been exposed to Java and Javascript. I’ve walked him through some stuff I did in Python, Perl and Java.
  2. What about an IDE? Online, installable? I want to get him into the weeds on what he can do without lots of frustration in setup, etc.

Technology Innovation Starts at a Young Age

That email ignited a fury of responses from colleagues who, like me, believe that thirst for innovation – especially in technology – starts at a young age.

Here are just a few of the responses I received:

  • “If he likes Minecraft, I have started my 13-year old granddaughter using a book on writing Java extensions to that game. It is well written and detailed enough for someone starting out.” – Mike Moses, Columbus Healthcare Practice Lead.
  • “Being a mobile guy, I’m a big fan of this resource that MIT developed. Turns developing mobile apps into a puzzle:”Chris Martinez, Miami Mobility Local Service Offering Lead.
  • “I have been starting new high school students on It progresses quickly from Scratch to JavaScript and then you can branch on from there to platforms and frameworks.”Shawn Wallace, National Practice Lead – Custom Development, Application Lifecycle Mgmt.

And, on and on it went. Because that’s how passionate we are about coding and what it can lead to.

Teaching our Kids to Think Different

From the moment our kids are old enough to play, we embark on a mission to inspire them to learn how to think different. How to create something. How to build on what others have done.

The hope is that one day our kids will feed that curiosity to learn, explore, and contribute to this ever-changing world with their own coding creations.

For my son, that curiosity came during the summer of 2016. Not only did it lead to more learning, but it has since turned into the beginning of a volunteer project to revamp a key church ministry website. That website just went live early March 2017.

His interest in this makes me smile, knowing that he could be in the front lines of, and helping to lead, technology innovation.

To those who wonder about the definition of innovation, I leave you with this thought: Perhaps innovation is the intersection between curiosity and experimentation?