Follow @RoyOsherove on Twitter

Specialization reviewed

OK, Sorry I havn't yet responded to DataGridGirl's Post about focusing on one thing and getting really good at it. I was actually thinking about that quite a lot. She sure makes a good point:

"it's a lot easier to be really good at something when you're focused on one thing, rather than doing a little bit of everything.  When I have extra coding time, I usually work on an experiment that's Datagrid-related, rather than just any interesting area that strikes my fancy.  This means I've done more interesting things with Datagrids than most people out there, because I focus on it.  If you're only doing one thing, you have a better chance at doing it well." [Color preserved for authenticity ;)]

But i do tend to lean towards the "know a lot of things in general, a few more in depth and one or two very much in depth". This allows you to "know where to look for answers" when needed. Later, you slowly sink into more and more details. sort of like a map in which you stare from a far, looking at the whole picture of where you are, then slowly zooming in and out of different places. when you need to know how to get somewhere, you'll know the major roads and be able to follow them.

Oddly enough, I take the same approach in day to day life. when the weekend newspaper arrives, I tend to browse through everything very lightly, marking in my mind any special points of interest to go back to. then I slowly begin a re-read - this time a little more in-depth browsing - of the paper.  then I actually do another re-read, reading totally into the sections i liked. One rational behind this approach is very simple - I don't read the paper alone, and i don't have much time to read it all. so this lets me pinpoint the areas that are most in need of a good read.. ;)

Call me crazy, but this way I feel like i don't miss out on anything important...

Sure, I won't get a following out of this, but i feel that in the end I'll be able to do different stuff. I think versatilty is key in our chosen profession. plus, If i see something new and really cool - I just can't help but play with it mercilessly ;)

That said, Specialization is very very important. infact, if it wouldn't exist - people would invent it :) .  but seriously - All the lecturers,writers and .Net celebrities (and not just in our area) out there - they are all invited and interviewed because of specialization in their area. But did they focus on one specific thing from the start on? i don't think they did. I think they played around with LOTS of stuff, and decided to take on one or two of these. yet they have a broad shallow (sometimes in depth too) knowledge of lots of other stuff.. So  - my point - if there was one , was to just make it clear that i totally support specialization, but i don't think i have gotten to a stage where i can safely say that i will focus on one thing.I still need to do some soul searching in a way, which would allow me to say "yes, ive pretty much covered the big topics, and now i can focus on something smaller". 

Shared Source CLI Essentials Book is out + more about specialization

Acceptance Test