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10 Bill Gates Quotes That Can Inspire Your IT Career

by Alice Murray

Who doesn’t want advice from a man who promised his teachers that he would be a millionaire by the age of 30 - and by 31, was a billionaire?

Everyone loves a good motivational tool, don’t they? And to give you that kick-start of inspiration, we’re looking to the infamous and endlessly talented; Bill Gates. Sometimes we all need a bit of a pick-me-up, and true incentive never goes out of style. More often than not, all we really need is a good talking to and a perk of attitude to get us out of our work funk.

Bill Gates is someone who knows a little bit about success; or so we've heard. As the founder of Microsoft, his net worth is currently 85 Billion dollars. And if you can believe it, that’s actually going up due to shrewd investments infrastructure, railways and franchises.

Not bad for a guy who didn’t even finish college.

As an employee in the IT sector, you might sometimes feel as though your job is repetitive, mundane or even a little dull. If you feel like this on occasion, you are certainly not alone. We all get down in our jobs from time to time, regardless of what we do. However, the IT and tech industries are more specialist than ever at the moment, and if you work as a developer, a programmer, a software engineer or in any other IT role, you should frequently remind yourself of this.

We are living in a world at a time where technology is at the central focus of life as we know it. Software is something that changes on a daily basis, and the relevance of it is always present in everything that we do. Not only that, but those who work so excessively for companies in these industries, are statistically higher on the intelligence spectrum than a vast variety of others. So if that isn’t enough to get you motivated or inspired, perhaps our collection of Bill Gates quotes will help.

We all know what Bill Gates is capable of, and what he’s achieved. His contribution to the planet has been ground-breaking, revolutionary and quite frankly, the most cutting-edge influence in technological history. Microsoft is the software that a lot of us use every single day of our lives, and it paved the way for many other technologies and developments to initially take place.

The thing is, a lot of people still think that Bill Gates is a bit of a dodgy character, and believe that he is untrustworthy due to his huge wealth. When magazines and newspapers feature him as the richest person on earth with a net worth over $80 billion, people often assume that he has a cash sum of $80 billion in his back pocket and is doing nothing to impact the world positively.

If you’re a bit of a finance geek, then you’ll know that the net worth that those magazines publish is just the market value of his stake in his companies. It means that he is worth $80 billion only if he sold his stake, otherwise those are just notional values. But only a senseless and foolish man would make this much wealth and give nothing back.

Proving that he doesn’t fall under that specification, Bill Gates pledged to give 95% of his wealth to charity and he still follows through with it today; meaning that he has so far, given $28 billion to a range of causes. Being the face of Microsoft isn’t even his full-time profession anymore, as he dedicates the majority of his time to his $37.1 billion charitable foundation.

The point here is, we know how great money can be, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all. The most impressive entrepreneurs are those who care more about their craft than their bank statement. Just take a look at Mark Zuckerberg; Facebook was his brainchild, but he was just determined to create something that changed the internet and computing world, regardless of the money.
Becoming rich or having a lot of money tends to be the end result, but what comes first? Creativity, intelligence, communication, ambition and motivation.

Of course it’s easier to devote all of your time and energy into your skillset if you don’t have to worry about your money issues, but the most inspirational path that anyone can take, is to follow their interests and their passions before following their pay check.

If you’re stuck in a rut or looking for that initial boost to take on a new challenge, or even just need motivation on a Monday morning, we’ve put together a list of our ultimate favourite Bill Gates quotes.

  1. “We are not even close to finishing the basic dream of what the PC can be.”


This quote proves that even the computer marvel himself truly believes that technology will never stop growing. He is stating that we are still just at the start of PC innovation, with still an awfully long way to go until we reach the full potential of what it can offer us and the world around us. This is motivation at its finest; because it expresses that there is always more room for someone new to create, change and update all we know about the PC and its capabilities. In other words, if you’re a developer, you should always be striving to discover the new trend – something that could turn into your big break.  If Bill Gates had given up whenever he failed, you wouldn’t even be reading this.

  1. “Don’t compare yourself with anyone in this world; if you do so, you are insulting yourself”


Everyone has their own individual skillset and talents. This isn’t just a theory; it’s proven in everyday life. If we were all the same, nothing would ever get done. This particular quote by Gates essentially tells us to be ourselves, regardless of setbacks or failures. No two people are the same, and your Unique Selling Point needs to be addressed early on in your career. It’s the quality about you that makes you different from everyone else. Have you got a specialist skill in a distinctive area of IT or software? Have you learnt a programming language that is modernised and brand new? Are you a driven developer with lots of ideas on how to update a certain software tool? Decide what your strengths are; and use them at every given opportunity.

  1. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”


If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again – that is basically Bill’s top tip with this one. For those who work in the technology sector, it’s easy to let the frequent successes go to your head. Tech and IT is a huge industry right now, and if you’re working for a top company, odds are you’ve got it pretty good. This is, of course, something to be celebrated, but at the same time, there are always ways for things to go wrong; and it’s a long way down from the top pedestal. This quote insinuates that every failure is a learning curve, and if anything, they hold more importance and are more pivotal in shaping your career than successes are. So, take them on the chin and don’t let a bad day at the office get the better of you.

  1. “People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they?”


Making a change in your career is always going to be scary. Having a routine and sticking with what we know is usually more tempting than taking a risk. But this shouldn’t be the case. What Bill is suggesting here, is that if electricity was something that people were doubting; anything is capable of turning itself around for the better. The planet today wouldn’t survive if electricity hadn’t been invented. So who knows what difference you could make if you apply for that big job you’ve always feared? Or if you give that new software creation a go? Everything we know and understand about life, was thought of by people no smarter than you. You might even change the entire face of technology. Bill did – and you could be next.

  1. “Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.”


What Gates’ is reiterating here, is that your grandparents saw a job not just as a way to make a quick quid, but the chance to get started in an industry; to work hard, take a pride in what they did and to try and get the relevant promotions to move up. People nowadays tend to get into the rut of viewing less paid or trainee roles as a job only fit for people who can't get ‘real’ jobs. But the truth is, everyone starts somewhere. Opportunity can only come by working hard elsewhere first, and being in the right place at the right time. If you’re committed, determined and passionate about what you want to do in your career; then you’re already halfway there – you just need to spot that golden opportunity.

  1. “If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?”


There is no easy route to success, unless you catch a very, very lucky break. When Gates said this, he wanted to remind all of the career builders that if he had mentally established a finish line - a point at which he could say he had succeeded or won - he would have crossed it long ago. Instead, the idea is that there is no finish line; because you just keep going every day to continue doing the best you can.

  1. “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”


In today’s world we are lulled into a desire for instant gratification. If we don’t see results from our efforts within a very short timeframe, we are accustomed to bailing on a genuinely decent idea. Our entertainment, technology, news, social interactions, relationships and education move at warp speed. We have lost all gumption to stick with the process, dig our heels in and just work without lifting our heads. This quote is on-point in stating this. It suggests that sometimes, we are far too impatient in our expectations and give up far too easily. Gates is telling us to stick out the hard times in the beginning and, before you know it, your efforts will compound multiple times over with results. But, we can’t give up too soon just because we crave instant gratification in today’s fast click world.

  1. “This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50.”


Like all careers in any software, IT or developer industry, you’re going to be put through your paces purely because of the rapid and ongoing movement of new technology. It's similar to what people say about fashion; it's a constant global phenomenon that never stops. It’s a race that must be kept up with - and technology is no different. In 2016, TechNation underlined the economic importance of the UK’s Digital Tech and developer Industries, which are growing 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy. We’re all so used to living in a world where the latest innovations and creations are at our fingertips. So it’s safe to assume that a career in these sectors can stand you in good stead for all the success in the world – if you go about it the right way.

  1. “If you were born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.”


Perhaps more slightly controversial than the rest; this quote indicates that if you want to make something work, it’s completely down to your own actions. Of course if you’re born wealthy, you do perhaps have access to better resources and a more influential network; however, you don’t have to be rich to succeed in school, or to get your first job on the career ladder. Some will claim that this quote is a cynicism, and that your wealth also depends heavily on your luck, which in some ways, is true. But it’s important to do what you do to the best of your ability, and that way you'll be luckier than you would if you had just sat around waiting for good things to happen. Our decisions, our work ethic and our commitment is what ultimately contributes to a well-paid career.

  1. “I failed in some subjects in exams, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”


We can all preach about the prominence of hard work and high exam results until the end of time. But as we’ve all heard at some point in our lives; it isn’t all about the results we get in school or the qualifications written on our CV. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your attitude and your core skills. If you're perfect for a job, it won’t matter too much if you got an A or a B. You can still win the race against everyone else competing, even if you aren’t as physically fast as them. Bill Gates knew that; and now, so do you.

If you’re a developer and you’re looking to get ahead in your career, you can email howard@unitingambition.com for a chat about our exclusive roles – contract and permanent. Alternatively, you can head over to our job opportunities page.