I read an obituary for Israel Gelfand a couple weeks ago, and it struck me as a very interesting read. I especially liked the travel analogy comparing the mentalities of two great Russian mathematicians:
“Suppose they both arrived in a country with a lot of mountains,” Dr. Retakh said of Dr. Arnold’s comparison. “Kolmogorov would immediately try to climb the highest mountain. Gelfand would immediately start to build roads.”
As a test engineer more often than not I'm building the roads that others will use to get to the mountains. And I like that.