But… your just a…. !!!!

/minor rant on

I was recently asked by a coworker why I knew so much about a wide variety of technologies. He was having an issue with java application performance  and was surprised when I pointed him to a tool that resolved his issue.

My point to him, was that everyone needs to be more than “Just a …”

We can not survive in a modern technical ecosystem with just one skill set. While we might have strengths in one particular skill set, we all need to be a little bit of DBA/SysAdmin/Developer/Storage Admin/Project Manager/Business Analyst.

This leads me to one of my favorite quotes about  skill sets.

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love /rant off

5 Replies to “But… your just a…. !!!!”

  1. I agree with you 100%. The days for knowing just one and only one thing has long gone. ” We should learn everything about something and something about everything”. I forgot who wrote this quote, -not me for sure, but I like it a lot and I will consider myself successful when I can implement it in my life.

  2. Excellent point and it is refreshing to meet someone who is also well rounded in IT. The problem in our industry is that there is so much to know and many people tend to not know anything out of their realm whether it be computer hardware, networks, coding, database etc… and that is why we have so many poor quality IT products when there is clearly no cohesion between the different departments.

  3. After 25+ years experience in IT, I can’t agree more with your article. As “just a UNIX sysadmin”, I’ve had to be sysadmin, network troubleshooter, scripter/coder/programmer, storage admin, end user support specialist, project manager, DBA, and on and on…

    I’ve often wondered if there should be a position title of “IT Generalist” and IT Specialist – (area of focus)”, but that’s up to the personnel folk.

    If you made a histogram bar chart of any IT position, with the x-axis being individual skills (sysadmin, network, software development/programming, storage, user support, DBA, project management, etc.), and the y-axis being level of expertise/experience, you’ll have a very multi-level graph.

    a goal of any IT Generalist would be to have a long x-axis, with various levels of y-values, depending upon particular positions held.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.