In our professional society, one should stand out from the crowd by specializing on skills. Specialization is being the authority in one niche. Being highly skilled in one aspect of your career can make you one of a kind. If you’re a Surgeon, you should have the most delicate hand. If you’re a Math Teacher, be the walking calculator. One shouldn’t be mediocre on all things, and lack one special weapon. But let me assure you – it’s really okay to be a “Jack-of-all-trades-master-of-nothing.”
I’ll ask you a question, and you have to be brutally honest with yourself: How many times did you search on Google about “the best programming language to learn”? How many times did you search for “The best web platform” or “WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal vs Thanos”? I’m guilty of it, I’ve done it many times. I’m always running after the “New-shining-programming-language”. I’m always brokenhearted whenever I see a “Top Ten” post and Visual Basic is on the number 11. But for me, it’s really okay. It means that “we have so much to learn, and we should not stop learning.” My own motto is “Stagnation is a sin”. Being in the tech industry, we should not be focused on what we already knew – we have to keep moving forward, grab as many cake as possible, and learn as many language as we could.
Diversify – Of All Trades
Diversifying skills, knowing average thing of everything, can really help you get along in different situations. Back in school days, I can say that I’m a Jack-of-all-trades – I can write poems, I’m a good reader and speaker, I love to draw (and sometimes, winning Poster Making contests), know a little dance, can report impromptu, run faster than average student, effective leader (I guess?), able to train our classmates in Speech Choir (and win 2 consecutive years), Scout Leader, know first aid and CPR, etc.
In our environment, we programmers tend to always be diversified – which I think has a better edge than mastering only one task. For example, if you are developing your own software, you alone can be a team. You can design (Photoshop Wiz), you can plan (CEO Prototype), you can code (Monster Coder), you can document (The Publisher) and finally you can present (Anchor Wat).
What I’m trying to say is do not settle for what you already knew. Make it a habit to continuously improve your skills while learning other things. We are now in Digital Age, and information is overflowing. Also, you can still read good books.
The Master – Of Nothing?
I know many of you (specially the Wizards of Codes) will opined, “Thou shall master first your logic, and every programming language will be a piece of cake.” It’s true, but only 50%. The other 50% will be “You should familiarize yourself with the programming language’s syntax.” Because what is logic if you don’t know the Keywords, right? This should go hand in hand – Master your logic, familiarize with the code.
This not only apply in programming. Whatever you are right now, you can apply this technique and see for yourself the benefits of knowing a little bit of everything. Who knows it can save a life, bring you to stardom or make you even more appealing!
For students – isn’t it great if your classmates think of you whenever they didn’t understand your lessons? How about being a tour guide to your office mates when you travel with them? Or a CEO that can host a company radio show?
Balance the equation
However, specialization is not a bad practice. In my opinion, this should be a superior formula: Master one thing, then move on to master another thing. And another. And another. Stay hungry enough that you crave for knowledge. Stay foolish enough that you motivate yourself into learning something new.
A snippet for your code:
“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”