Great people often can change a defect into an asset by turning a problem around. Hamming explains at Bell Labs he wasn’t given the required human staff to write programs for the computers. Other companies would readily give him staff, but he felt the “exciting people were at Bell Labs.” From this limitation came his insight that the machines might be able to write programs themselves, which forced him into the field of automatic programming very early. If he had the ideal working conditions he initially desired, he might never have had this insight.
When you couldn’t do a problem, started to study why not. And from this came the interesting discovery. “Ideal working conditions are very strange. The ones you want aren’t always the best ones for you.”