PHP Developers Network

Generalist Vs Specialist
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Author:  Live24x7 [ Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Generalist Vs Specialist

I have been self- learning web for the last 3 years.

Looking back at competencies developed so far - i have become a jack of many trades but i haven't mastered any :roll:
I may be called a "web assembler" rather than a developer.

I learnt Java, PHP, CSS, Javascript, MySQL and various libraries & frameworks for each of these -
but i am not very good at any one.

I don't know - regex rules but have been able to bend them when needed (with help from some 'experts' round here).
I don't know - javascript but have used prototype and jquery libraries in my projects for UIs
I don't know - CSS Designing - but have built reasonable looking CSS designs from scratch
I don't know - MySQL but have used it my projects

Same is the case with everything i have picked up.

Is being a generalist good ?

Can a generalist stay in the business in the long run ?

or should one think of specializing ?

Standing on a cross road :D

Author:  Christopher [ Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Generalist Vs Specialist

You always need to keep learning, but usually you go where the money is. A generalist can certainly get plenty of clients with a combination of light custom work and customizing CMSs.

Author:  califdon [ Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Generalist Vs Specialist

I would emphasize, however, that you will get nowhere if you are "not very good at any of them." People will hire you because you ARE very good at something. Being a generalist is not at all like not being good at what you do. Certainly you can't be expected to be good at everything at first, but you need to work at actually learning the skills, not just copy or juggle things to make them work. That won't work whether you're a specialist OR a generalist.

Author:  social_experiment [ Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Generalist Vs Specialist

Author:  Doug G [ Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Generalist Vs Specialist

Be a specialist If you want to become a cog in a much larger machine. If you want to operate independently, be a generalist. As a one-person business for over 20 years now, I enjoy learning all all the different technical and business skills I need to know to remain in business, and being able to do them all sufficiently well to be able to stay in business.

If you work for someone else you should consider how you'll best fit with the organization you're in. If you were hired to be a wordpress theme developer it may not be a good idea to spend a lot of time learing php and mysql database programming, unless that is a skill that will help you advance in your company.

Author:  Live24x7 [ Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Generalist Vs Specialist

Author:  Jonah Bron [ Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Generalist Vs Specialist

You're correct, advice is the word you're looking for. " is a noun, "" is a verb.

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