it is increasingly a worker’s greatest skill, not his average skill level, that matters. As capitalism has grown more adept at disaggregating tasks, workers can focus on what they do best, and managers are challenged to make room for brilliant, if difficult, outliers.
This march toward greater specialization, combined with the pressing need for expertise in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so-called STEM workers, suggests that the prospects for (knowledge *) workers will be on the rise in the coming decades. If the market can forgive people’s weaknesses, then they will rise to the level of their natural gifts.
The above is from The Autism Advantage – I have replaced the word “autistic” at the * with KNOWLEDGE and it’s probably true for most knowledge jobs – including software testing 🙂
[ Hire Autistic People; Here’s Why | inc.com | January 3, 2013]
“It will be an economic failure if the new wave of high school graduates can’t be employed. All these kids have talent and ability and a tremendous capacity to contribute. We have to stop thinking that all employees have to be the same, with the same skills, the same attributes.”
For example, anything very repetitious and detail-oriented, work that requires great visual memory for the spotting of anomalies. You might not often think of someone with autism in terms of communication but they can be fantastic at understanding rules-bound communication, where it matters exactly what can and can’t be said to whom.
[ The Autism Advantage | New York Times | November 29 2012]
This emerging understanding of autism may change attitudes toward autistic workers. But intelligence, even superior intelligence, isn’t enough to get or keep a job. Modern office culture — with its unwritten rules of behavior, its fluid and socially demanding work spaces — can be hostile territory for autistic people, who do better in predictable environments and who tend to be clumsy at shaping their priorities around other people’s requirements.
See also: The Geeks and Nerds Syndrome Who has excellent memory and strong attention to detail