April 4, 2023 · 1 min read

Generalists are rare gems

One day I read the code of Chromium in C++ to optimize screenshot rendering. The other day, I tuned a database engine reasonably well because I wrote a toy engine myself and understood the underlying logic. I used Python to work with neural networks and recently wrote TypeScript to render UIs.

I thought that knowing and being able to write code in many programming languages was my weak side. That is what job interviewers clearly stated to me as feedback. And I assume it was a perception of me as a jack of all trades and the master of none.

To all my friends and lurkers, If you feel like me or have the same experience, please, understand that it is a blessing, not a curse.

You can create a complete product alone. Or be a powerful addition to any team, supporting weaknesses and amplifying the strongest sides of it.

And now, with new tools like ChatGPT, you can not only read code, but you can write the code in a language you don’t understand and optimize it if needed.

Coding as art is another topic, but generally, a programming language is a means to accomplish the task—solve customers' problems and make profits for companies.

And besides a few rare exceptions, you can probably solve any coding problem.

Don’t let people confuse you. Generalists are not misfits. Generalists are rare gems.