Developers: To specialise or not specialise 07.03.2017 : 13:31pm
Given the landscape of today’s digital world, you devs are in hot demand. And for good reason, I mean you can make or break a site with your coding. But with all the different types of developers out there and with all the different types of languages when you go freelance, do you stick to a niche or do you go all in and try and cover it all?
Let’s look at it a bit from both sides of the argument.
The argument for specialising is quite a strong one, especially in a time where there are so many different types of developers. To try and do it all could prove near on impossible.
Specialising allows you to really hone your skills and become an expert in your specific field. Whether it be that you’re a front end developer and you want to stick to just UI or UX design or you’re a back end developer and you’re particularly proficient at .Net, PHP or Java, by sticking to one area or a specific coding language you’ll really be able to put your hand up should a client need that skill set.
When you specialise you also naturally spend more time in that job and as a result, get to learn and grow as a developer quicker. It would be so hard to keep up with all the different trends and developments in all areas; whereas if you spend your entire working week on one defined job type - boom you’ll be a self-professed guru in no time!
When it comes to some jobs, being the jack-of-all-trades is a good thing. And in development, the ability to do both front and back end development ultimately led to the full-stack developer. So there’s something to be said for being able to work your magic across different areas.
But it can be your demise, and that’s where you need to be careful as a freelancer especially. Clients obviously expect that you can do the job they employ you for and to the highest of standards. So the last thing you want is to be undercooked at certain points within the project and either,
a) have to rely on someone else to come in and help, or b) not be able to do the job to the fullest.
Quite often a job you’ll be employed for will escalate into something way beyond what you thought and your clients still expect you to be able to deliver if they believe you to be proficient in all skills.