About becoming a generalist

you can choose. You can be an expert or a generalist. Which route should you choose?

you can choose. You can be an expert or a generalist.

Let us use the Pareto principle to explain it.

Expert means that your skills are 80% of one thing and one field. You spend 80% of your time for this purpose, and you have no interest in extending your knowledge to the outside world.

You ignore the remaining 99%, as long as you reach the specific 1% level you want.

A generalist means that you have 4 different themes, and you devote 25% of your energy to each topic.

Maybe your skills account for 50% of your time in one area, and you account for the other 50% of your time in the other two areas.

If you are a developer focused on React, then you are an expert. You even call yourself a "React Developer".

You are a generalist, if you know and use React, and also know Vue, you can design a page in Figma and then use CSS to convert it into React components. In addition, you also know how to deploy the application to Heroku.

Which is better?

I do not know.

Some companies only hire experts. I think that if you are a Google, there is almost no point in hiring a generalist. They have an entire team doing very specific things.

An early-stage startup may hire generalists because they are more flexible and can change their focus at any time.

I am a generalist. I am a computer engineer who can write in several different programming languages. I have a good understanding of design. I can do some design, copywriting and marketing. I know how to use Linux servers to create mobile applications and web applications. Use embedded devices.

If you compare the results of everything I might do with the results of experts, everything I do is poor.

However, as a generalist, I have an advantage over experts: I will never say "this is not what I want to do".


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