I dared initiating the age old debate on twitter — to specialize or generalize?
86 replies later I think I have a better understanding of the best course of action for me.
My goal with this article is to summarize the discussion and present arguments people have for their choice. Hope this will help you in making an informed decision that is ideal for your career stage.
Let’s dive in! 🚀
Here’s a quick summary of the responses.
Looking at the results ~45% of developers believe that specialization is the way to go, while ~29% are inclined towards generalization.
While we have a clear winner, it’s important to examine the reasoning and motivations behind these responses.
🔸 More job opportunities. Specializing can lead to more opportunities and success as a freelancer or contractor. It’s also clear to your employer what value you bring to the table.
🔸 Building credibility. With specialization you build credibility by developing a deep understanding of the subject matter. It gives you the ability to solve complex problems and create innovative solutions.
🔸 To show expertise. If you are working on a specific area or technology for 3-4 years, you naturally build a reputation as an expert.
🔸 More flexibility. With your ability to quickly understand and work with multiple technologies as a generalist, you can move into different roles and industries.
🔸 Better adaptability. You will easily adapt to new situations or technologies that you will encounter in your work.
🔸 To find passion. Generalizing at first can help in finding what you love. Something that you can focus on for a long period of time and make it your speciality.
Major takeaway for me from the discussion is - there is no RIGHT answer to this question. Also, your choice can change as you will progress in career.
Having said that, share in comments what do you think — should developers specialize or generalize?
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