re: The Myth of the T-Shaped Developer VIEW POST


I recently made a career change to a new company and one of the main points in their interview process was that they look for T shaped developers. I agree that it's a strange idea when the average developer has so much technology to learn. Playing devil's advocate, though, I think it might make sense to look for a T shaped developer in that company's tech stack or position being filled.

In the general concept of shaped learning, I like the idea of grouping technologies that a developer might be better at in the middle and make more of a Bell Curve.

At this point it's all semantics. Realistically I focus on specific technologies that I enjoy working with and those that I use for my professional position. If someone asks if you're a T shape developer, then go ahead and tell them, absolutely! Cause if you're only talking about 3 technologies or skills, then what's it matter?


See, I don't get the whole idea of looking for a T-Shaped. Where I'm sitting, we all will become a T-Shaped at some point. I think it's a term that becomes something we use as a litmus test and it really shouldn't be.


Because checking if someone is a T-Shaped dev doesn't typically measure how comfortable they are or skilled they are with that breadth, or even how deep their knowledge is at the deepest level.

Why does this matter? What's the fear? That you will always specialize and never branch out? If that doesn't happen and you need it, then part ways then.

If the fear is that you won't have the breadth, then just hire a generalist, or hire a specialist who's very good at growing and willing to learn.

It's sort of like shopping for a new a car based on its highway and city driving capabilities, but not actually buying it because it hasn't driven on one or the other yet.

I just don't get it.

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