Being a generalist doesn’t bar you
from being a specialist.
Compilers are something I know (a little) about. Here are two examples of prominent generalists who work in the field of compilers.
Anders Hejlsberg designed/architected Turbo Pascal, Delphi, C# and TypeScript.
Rich Hickey was a .NET specialist before he created Clojure.
We’d normally view them as specialists but wouldn’t you also consider them generalists?
You might never get the chance to hire Hejlsberg or Hickey into your team, but there are many, many developers out there who have the same problem-solving mindset.
Maybe what I’m trying to say is that if you’re a novice developer trying to choose between generalising or specialising, then don’t worry - because it’s a false dichotomy. Just do whichever you feel is best for you at the moment. There will be always be more time later to shift gear.
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