re: Jack Of All Trades or Master of One? VIEW POST


Software engineering gives me great joy too. Mobile apps, web apps, programs - you name it, I want to know how to make it!

Personally, I would and do hire people who show me this kind of passion without regard to what you know and don't know. I seek to hire potential more-so than the person that can fly through a grueling Google-like interview process w/o a blink.

Those with passion to never stop learning and who can show me they care about their craft and can articulate ideas back to me with intelligence will get hired over the rock star developer that knows it all, but can't work with a team or articulate and converse with others fluently.

How long before my 'breadth of knowledge' begins to be described as a 'lack of advanced expertise'?

Wrong question and mentality here. If hiring managers are being truly honest with themselves and who they hope to hire, what they should be looking for is the person that can apply the skills he/she has to solve the domain problems the company is dealing with. As long as you're learning and expanding your knowledge and increasing the sphere of problem-space you can proficiently solve, your value will always be going up. It's when you stagnate, stop learning new things, or exploring the fringes that you should be concerned.


I would love if your approach to hiring was commonplace. Unfortunately, too often hiring managers who can demonstrate their work under time constraints. I've even heard of interviews where programmers are asked to write their code to solve a problem on a whiteboard! The Google interview example is a very good one.


Yeah, I started writing about the Google Interview process and why it's so wrong for many companies (it may be right for Google, but it's not right for the majority of companies out there). But that got really, really long for a comment reply!

Here's the thing: Job candidates often fail to recognize this is their time to interview the company and just complacently move through the process dictated by the company. One should recognize that the interview process is very revealing of the company itself, so the interviewee gets a glimpse into the company culture based on how he/she is being interviewed. If you're interviewing, then leverage this time and observe carefully what's going on around you throughout the process. If you keep your focus outward instead of inward (i.e. the "is this company worthy of my time?" vs. "am I good enough?" mentality) and take notes and reflect on how you were treated during the interview -- which is admittedly hard to do when under pressure to land a new job -- then you can more readily recognize what the company culture is going to be like. Plus this primes you to question and probe and learn more about what the job at hand will entail and what the growth opportunities within the company are likely to be.

That's honestly such a great mentality: certainly one that I will be applying to my next interview. It might even help to relieve some of the stress by focusing it elsewhere instead.

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