How did I come to Computer Science? Through geophysics! I was once given data sets spanning several CD-ROMs. Back then, this was a lot of data! To this day, my research is still inspired by this short gig in geophysics. I keep trying to bridge mathematics and software implementations.
This warped path was beneficial to me. I still feel the need to keep my brain on its toes. In Mapping the evolution of scientiﬁc ideas, Herrera et al. suggests that this strategy might be sound:
(…) communities that are more willing to reinvent themselves tend to be the ones that have most impact per paper (…) our analysis shows that communities with a higher ﬁtness tend to be short-lived.
Good researchers need to be exposed to strange or surprising ideas and problems. Attending the same conference year after year does not count.