Specialization: The Importance of Not Spreading Oneself Too Thin
September 3rd, 2019
- Link to the Specialization: The Importance of Not Spreading Oneself Too Thin podcast on anchorfm
It’s been a little while since my last podcast. I have been a bit busy and have also been working on my presentation for Code Camp 2019! It started as a problem solving quest and became a Code Camp submission. I submitted the proposal a few days ago and am awaiting confirmation. Wish me luck on the submission and hopefully I will be seeing some of you there this year! It takes place in NYC on Saturday, October 12, 2019. Looking forward to hearing others speak as well!
On another note, I wanted to share a couple of tweets I came across on Twitter which I think are very important for you to hear. They come from Cory House, Twitter handle @housecor. The first:
Example: Every skill I choose to learn means I have less time to go deeper on the skills I already know.— Cory House (@housecor) August 19, 2019
I specialize in front-end dev. That means I have to say "no" to many opportunities.
The opportunity cost of going too wide: I wouldn't have time to go deep in my speciality.
I have always believed in the concept of “specialization”, and now more than ever. How else does one stand out from the rest of the pack? And believe me, the pack is HUGE.
One of the most valuable concepts I learned in school: Opportunity cost - The loss of potential gain from other options when an option is chosen.— Cory House (@housecor) August 19, 2019
This is why getting comfortable with saying "no" is important.
Every "yes" is an implicit "no" to something else.
And just now I came across another tweet which I think fits well in the realm of helping one determine which specialty one should focus on. It came from Cerebral Wisdom, Twitter handle @CerebralWisdom. It goes as follows:
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics. - Thomas Sowell— Cerebral Wisdom (@CerebralWisdom) August 30, 2019
We’re not discussing politics here, so the second half of the tweet is not relevant to the topic at hand. It’s all about specializing in something which one loves, is passionate about, excels at, and of which there is a “scarcity” of skill. Economics directly applies to skillsets too.
There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it.
Let’s examine a real world (non-tech related) example. Let’s say I wanted to get into pet sitting and consultation on the side to make some extra bucks because I have a passion for animals. However, sitting for a large variety of them would mean only skin deep knowledge of all and never gaining a deep understanding of one. So I choose the cat (I have been a big cat lover since I can remember and they take a tremendous shining to me as well). But perhaps there are many others offering their services as cat sitters, so how do I differentiate myself from the rest? Perhaps I choose to sit for and provide consultation regarding single cat households as the skillset for cat sitting a single cat is very different from sitting for two or more. Get the picture? Perhaps within the specialty we choose there is a sub-specialty that can make us “stand out” from the rest.
And the third tweet from @housecor which especially resonates with me and which I had discovered about myself as well:
Looking back, the moment my life turned around for the better:— Cory House (@housecor) August 30, 2019
I finally stopped doing the things I assumed others expected me to do...And I started doing the things that I believed in.
I will be embedding this episode of Plugging in The Holes along with a transcript in the form of a post on interglobalmedianetwork.com for your hearing and reading pleasure. I will be including the related resource links mentioned in the podcast of course. Always do. Bye for now!
Created by Maria D. Campbell who lives and works in New York City building and teaching useful things. You should follow her on Twitter.