I am smart enough to pick things up quickly, confident enough to admit when I don't know something, and have perspective enough not to fuss over details that won't matter to an end result.
My primary strength is my ability to understand complex systems, exploit the data they leave behind, and explain them to others. That applies both to systems that I had a hand in designing (e.g., the VDW) and those designed by others--like for instance the Epic EMR.
I've been programming a long time now--more than 15 years at this writing, and I tend to have strong opinions about how to get things done. When met with resistance from collegues, I have had excellent luck swaying others to my point of view.
I'd like to think this indicates a certain amount of natural authority. Possibly I'm deluding myself.
Another benefit of my experience is that it's made me confident enough to admit when I don't know something. I'm also not shy about looking like a fool asking questions. Sometimes this sheds light on the sketchy parts of an explanation, sometimes I'm asking what most everybody else in the room is silently wondering, and sometimes I just look like a fool.
My technical strengths tend to center around the design, management and exploitation of data, in its various forms.
Specifically, I am very good at:
Ever since reading Visualizing Data by William Cleveland in graduate school I've was keen to learn s-plus (now R) in order to produce those insanely gorgeous/informative displays. "Tools matter" indeed. I am continually looking for opportunities to incorporate R tools into my work.
I am most familiar with:
I am decent at:
I led a reasonably successful campaign to get the SAS programmers at GHRI to use source code control generally, and git specifically. So I'm a fan and git has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. That said, a cursory browse through my github will probably tell the sophisticated git user that I am a noobie.
Having worked in a medical/health insurance setting for more than ten years now, I have picked up some modest knowledge of things like:
But mostly I've learned that I don't know very much about these things, and have come to rely on the various medical experts I work for and with.
My stint at Lockheed-Martin Missles & Space was similarly enlightening about all sorts of Military things, but I don't remember any of it (and if I could, I couldn't tell you what it was ;-).