Michael Hernandez's avatar image.

My name is Michael Hernandez, Jack of all trades, master of none.

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  • Being ok at everything vs. being good at one thing

    I struggle with this question for quite a while and have not really found an answer to it. I am working with the web since about 1998, doing everything from HTML, PHP, Javascript, MySQL, Linux Server Administration, over helpdesk for OSX, Windows and Linux, etc. I did a fair bit of Audio Production, as well as smaller video projects, launched several websites, did off-site an on-site SEO, Security, online strategy advise, smaller design task and I worked professionally as a Project Manager in a Software and Hardware company. Hell, just the other day I installed a Network Based Video Security System. I wouldn't consider myself a "Power User", but neither a full stack developer. I do most of my web consultancy on the side nowadays as my main business is a coffee shop here in Japan (so I also launched a business now, so I'm an entrepreneur?!?). My clients are usually small companies and single persons who need simple websites and they appreciate the fact that I am cheap, reliable and can offer them basically everything they can think of.My question now is: Do you think this diversified skill set is good and I should continue doing this, or is it at the end just useless and I should rather focus getting really good at one thing (which I probably never will be)?

    Michael Hernandez's avatar image.

    Daniel, your a Hacker, like me. Just look at my headline. You see a variety of skills that you would like to have, and learn them. You are able to wield this book of spells at a moments notice, and tackle any problem. That is the nature of the generalist. We are loved because of our general knowledge and ability to jump into any situation head first. Even with things we don't know, we have learned so much, learning is second nature to us.

    Our strength is knowledge.Our value is diversity.Our love is learning.

    Straight from the Hacker Manifesto here is this quote" You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food atschool when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slipthrough were pre-chewed and tasteless. "

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    Anonymous

    Thanks all for the good advice. I agree that it is beneficial to work on different fields, but as Dwayne pointed out, I really believe it has also to do with the left-brain/right-brain mentality. You barely meet someone who's a great designer and codes like a hero. It is usually the one, or the other. You can extend this to many things, tho my problem is that I am somewhat really stuck in the middle which on one hand sounds cool (look at him, he can program a website that even looks good), but on the other hand is somewhat limiting my ability to achieve things by myself (I can get to a certain point, but can't get further). I understand that a designer, or developer can't accomplish anything by himself neither, but they can sell their expertise in one field much better than I could.I believe my career choice as a project manager/product manager was the right one, as I can relate to pretty much everything, everyone in the team is doing. Tho, as Michael pointed out, I am never happy with what I have/do and try to improve constantly.It is really interesting for me to hear from others, who are in the same dilemma and especially how they handle their work/life balance!

    Thanks,D

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    Anonymous

    Woot! Great to see you around Daniel and it's awesome to see that you're getting some good advice