Generalism

By | April 29, 2014

People have always told me it’s a mistake to be a generalist.

People are always wrong.

Especially in IT, it’s a mistake not being a generalist, as technologies and even basic applications change so fast.

Being a generalist means I have a basic understanding of just about everything important, so when the virtualization du jour technology changes from VMWare to HyperV, I already know how virtualization works at a fundamental level, so it’s just a matter of figuring out which buttons to click or which command line switches to choose to get things going.

I don’t have to go back to the drawing board pretty much ever. Instead of spending a year learning something as those who don’t understand the basics have to do, I can be up and running in days or sometimes in as little as minutes.

I realize this won’t work in every field, but in most fields I believe people hobble themselves by not working enough on basic understanding and too much on specialization.

Anything I can look up on the internet quickly, or in a book, does not need to be in my head. It’s a waste of space.