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To become a specialist or remain a generalist

 
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Andy, what is your view on becoming a specialist versus remaining a generalist?
 
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I maintain being a generalist helps for the company but you should be special in at least one product/technology
 
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Two it's better than one. Becoming a generalist it's great, you can face many problems for a variety of technologies, and mastering one, makes you an expert to solve really deep problems with that technology.
 
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It depends on what you mean by "specialist". Unfortunately the way it is used often appears to mean "someone who knows only one thing".

If I ran a business, I would really not want to hire that kind of specialist.
 
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It it better if we are both generalist and specialist.
It's good to able to do many things. So we're all-in-one package that can do all things that 3-5 different people can do (but we can do one thing at a time of course).
But if we want to be more successful, we need to be a specialist at least in one field to further differentiate ourselves from others.

Only being a generalist is not enough because we can do one thing at a time. We may be able to do many kind of things, but it's probably slower compare to 3 people do 3 things simultaneously.
But if we're a specialist, we can do somethings that normal/average folks cannot do, that increases our values and make us more difficult to be replaced.
 
arulk pillai
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Kengkaj Sathianpantarit wrote:It it better if we are both generalist and specialist.
It's good to able to do many things. So we're all-in-one package that can do all things that 3-5 different people can do (but we can do one thing at a time of course).
But if we want to be more successful, we need to be a specialist at least in one field to further differentiate ourselves from others.

Only being a generalist is not enough because we can do one thing at a time. We may be able to do many kind of things, but it's probably slower compare to 3 people do 3 things simultaneously.
But if we're a specialist, we can do somethings that normal/average folks cannot do, that increases our values and make us more difficult to be replaced.




Agree. It is better to have the mixture of both.
 
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I can't really answer because it's such a vague definition. In Chad Fowler's book, The Passionate Programmer, he suggests you need to be both.

You're going to wind up knowing a wide variety of things, and you're going to know some things in depth. It's just the nature of the job.
 
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