Generalist or specialist

Updated Apr 04, 2020

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Firstly, there's a distinction between being a generalist and having a generalist understanding. The first one, as in "laying on a grass", is someone who is going to be either the Founder/CEO of a big company or that guy who closes holes in a big company because there's no budget for specialists.

The latter is the one who is deep enough in something yet knows what's going on in other mines (have a ladder up?). This is what helps you navigate, connect the dots, predict things, be more productive in your own mine, and make a winning switch to a joint mine if needed. Yet there are many examples like javascript front-end developers who don't know a thing about CSS (stuck in a mine?).

Secondly, the grade of knowledge "deep - good - have an idea" is subjective and refers only to your perception. A person with the subjective attitude "good at one thing + several others" can be equal in level of knowledge of that "other" to a person who is an "expert in one discipline". This is just the scale of the resources of a particular person.