The meaning of grok

To grok it is something truly special. The word was first coined by American science-fiction writer, Robert A. Heinlein, in his 1961 novel Stranger in a Strange Land. Its original context is still a topic of discussion due to its multiple usages. It also doesn’t help that it was crafted as a Martian word, so translating it into a singular definition to fit Earth-based linguistics would be quite the subjective task. 

To give this neologism the best possible explanation that we could, grok loosely means to merge with something—either physically or emotionally. As an example of physical grokking, let’s consider the act of drinking water. In this case, the water becomes a part of the drinker and the drinker becomes part of the water. Both grok each other. As an example of emotional grokking, imagine feeling something so strongly towards someone that the outward facing emotion becomes a part of you, so that the emotion groks you completely.

Have you grokked it yet?

Fortunately, the term was adopted in computer science context—making it much easier for us to explain regardless if you’re an Earthling or Martian. Through this viewpoint, grok means to understand something so intrinsically that it becomes a part of you. We’re not talking about simply learning something, but living it. Which is how we do things at IMC. 

You may have heard the word ‘grok’ in our latest Go Beyond the Obvious communications. Perhaps that’s why you’re here (unless your science-fiction grokking rabbit hole has taken you deeper than planned). 

To give you an overview about IMC, we’re a global technology driven trading firm providing liquidity to worldwide markets. We do this by recruiting the world’s smartest people, and giving them all the opportunities that they could ever wish for to grok things on a daily basis. Together, we create groundbreaking software, develop innovative programming, and find solutions to complex problems through unconventional thinking. 

If grokking at IMC sounds like your thing, and you’re ready to go beyond the obvious in your career as a software engineer, trader, or anything in between, check out the latest job openings for graduates and interns or experienced hires. 

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Graduate Traineeship The IMC traineeship is designed to enhance and accelerate your skills and knowledge while providing you with opportunities to network and build relationships with international colleagues.​​​​​
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