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Thursday, June 11, 2015

IT professional careers: is being a generalist a dead end option?

William Turgeon

"So being a generalist means that one has to understand the basics of a lot of separate AOC’s and know how they integrate and what they need to work together efficiently. The generalist will often not know the specific commands or techniques used in implementing specific features in a product, but he DOES know that the feature exists and in general, what it requires to function efficiently. Knowing that a specific function exists, he/she can always look up the specific command or implementation process.
The generalists’ big advantage over most specialists is that they have an understanding of the fundamental requirements and interactions of most of the AOCs involved, not just a single one, and thus can often resolve problems that specialists are not equipped by their training to do.
Although most IT professionals do not realize it, the need for IT generalists is much greater than most people are aware of, and the few well-trained ones that are available are rarely out of work. Unfortunately, being a generalist is much more difficult than specializing because one cannot focus on a single given area exclusively, but instead must continually ‘keep up’ on the broad spectrum of technologies that make up the IT profession.
Being a generalist is an AOC that will NEVER die, but it IS a difficult one to master!"
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