Full Yack Shaver

My little passive-aggressive comment on the lack of responses yesterday bore fruit!

Sky says:

Definitely think of myself as “full stack”, but with a specialism in mobile development. Also seen the term abused by people hiring when they’re struggling to get the specialisms they need.

Job titles are really weird. They have to serve multiple purposes. They aren’t 100% reflective of the actual work that gets done in the role, but are a function of company culture, the employment and skills market, geographic location, product life-cycle stage and any number of other things.

Julian says:

It’s practically impossible to be [a full stack developer], and will only get harder. I used to call myself full-stack because I’m senior frontend and now know Node. However, it felt SO much better when I just marketed myself as a great Frontend. Perhaps we can use “fullstack frontend” hehe.

And Martin hits the nail smartly on the head with his comments:

Where once I’d have offered from my narrow range of “things-I’ve-done” box, I’m increasingly advocating for non-technical, or minimally tech supported solutions, or solutions that are outside of my current experience; but one that I know are available within the team, or ones I’m confident I can learn.

This seems at first glance to be what a full-stack developer is, but to me it feels different; more like a “wide-gamut” developer. To realise that there are solutions outside of my direct experience that could be a good fit for the problem, and the professional tools to learn new skills effectively.

I think in the past, this would simply have been called “experienced” :)

This speaks to the fragmented nature of specialism. It’s popular to extol the virtues of a ‘t-shaped’ skill set, with strong expertise in a given area and knowledge of a wider set of topics.

But to make use of such a skill set you also need a good degree of self-awareness to understand where your strengths - and probably more importantly - your weaknesses, lie.

Tell me: What’s your go-to area of specialism that you’re most proud of?

I’m looking for really narrow stuff here. Can you list all the official CSS named colours from memory? Can you remember flexbox syntax without looking it up? Can you resolve a conflict about JavaScript frameworks between two developers respectfully and amicably? Let me know.

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