A funny thing happened when Otto Berkes, chief technology officer for CA Technologies and the moderator of a panel at the CA World confab in Las Vegas, asked panelists about the skills needed for today’s and tomorrow’s digital businesses.

“We over-rotate on finding and developing STEM only as the solution,” said Debra Danielson, distinguished engineer and senior VP for CA Technologies. “I think as we evolve, we’re going to be bringing in more people who don’t need to have those deep analytical coding technologist-type capabilities. Because they’re going to be focused on the no-code, low-code on driving AI to solve business problems.”

“We want products and solutions and technologies that appeal to the dancer and the linguist, not just the engineer. So we have to bring them in,” said Danielson.

In fact, the buzzword at the conference seemed to be “diversity.” Companies hoping “to get ahead in the digital game and fend off disruption will need to be creative with technology – and this is going to require a diversity of skills and viewpoints beyond traditional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) expertise.”

Richard Philyaw, distinguished engineer and senior VP at CA, added that we need a “return to the classical values of the liberal arts education, bringing STEM in as part of that as an integrated part of it.”

The feeling seemed to be that decision-making about how technology should be applied and what the market will need are not themselves tech decisions. They are decisions that are best made, not by by individuals with narrow tech educations, but with broad training in a variety of disciplines that teach an understanding of human nature and behavior.

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