Attention to detailsProgramming is much maligned, especially in the eyes of MBA wanna-bes - probably because of former employees of IT services majors like Infy, Wipro and TCS, where they usually never did proper "geeky" programming. People like me, with core programming experience, are somewhat an endangered species here. I've had one of my class mates (he has an IT background) surprised and derisive that I actually enjoyed my job !
Programming taught me a lot of skills, the first being that 95% job completed is still 5% incomplete. And that means bugs.
So, there are two things here - one, that there must be an aspiration to excel in any job, and two, and perhaps equally important, is that attention to detail is critical.
For me, a "big picture" person, programming was a very strange experience. It required an ability to go into the details, but at the same time, keep the big picture in mind. It took me quite a while to master this "zoom in and zoom out" ability, but it is a very useful skill.
Back to the attention to detail part, it is something I don't enjoy, but I understand it is really necessary. That is what makes me good in completing something, something that I've used extensively in writing reports for my class projects. Writing reports and cases requires a lot of attention to details and understanding the big picture of whatever the hell we're supposed to do. I think I'm quite good at this, and can improve further.
There are a lot of good habits that I've learned as a result of my background, and while it isn't rocket science, it is quite easy to say "Hey, I used to do this while I was working, why can't I do it now ?". That is when fun starts ...