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Jacks of All Trades or Masters of One?

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Our slides from our SXSWi 2010 presentation

Our slides from our SXSWi 2010 presentation

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  • Thanks. Most of the time in University they keep talking about how important is to specialize in an specific area. However, as one of your quotes said, specialization to an exaggerate degree does not allow to see some vital connections in projects.

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Jacks of All Trades or Masters of One? Jacks of All Trades or Masters of One? Presentation Transcript

  • BRIAN “LE ROUGE” TALBOT · M. JACKSON “THE RED” WILKINSON JACKS MASTERS of ONE? of all TRADES AUSTIN CONVENTION CENTER Under the Auspices of SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST
  • TALBS Sr. UX Designer, Viget Labs
  • JACKSON Sr. Product Designer, LinkedIn
  • HASHTAG! (NOT POT RELATED) #jacksofalltrades
  • DEFINING THE TERMS GENERALISTS & SPECIALISTS
  • TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST GENERALIST BUSINESS DESIGN Hat tip to
  • G Generalist WEB DESIGNER G (with markup chops) S Specialist S WEB DESIGNER (visual only)
  • G Generalist USER EXPERIENCE GUY G S Specialist USER RESEARCHER S
  • S G Generalist G FRONT-END ENGINEER S Specialist DATABASE PERFORMANCE ENGINEER
  • THE SET UP The Great DEBATE
  • LAYING OUT THE ARGUMENTS “Honestly, I’m shocked that in 2010 I’m still coming across ‘web designers’ who can’t code their own designs. No excuse.” Elliot Jay Stocks
  • SKILLS DEPTH
  • G
  • S
  • [DAVINCI] G
  • S
  • G
  • S S S
  • LAYING OUT THE ARGUMENTS A little taste of the prevailing POINT & COUNTERPOINT
  • SPECIALISTS ARE THE PERFECT TOOL FOR THE SPECIFIC JOB http://www.flickr.com/photos/walker_ep/3789085333/
  • A GENERALIST TAKES CARE OF WHATEVER IS NEEDED http://www.flickr.com/photos/indigotimbre/66258903
  • A GENERALIST TAKES CARE OF WHATEVER IS NEEDED http://www.flickr.com/photos/frandallfarmer/255322431/
  • A SPECIALIST CAN KEEP UP ON CURRENT TRENDS & TECHNIQUES
  • GENERALISTS CAN ENSURE THAT EXECUTION MATCHES INTENTION
  • A SPECIALIST’S THINKING ISN’T LIMITED BY EXTERNAL CONSTRAINTS
  • A GENERALIST CAN SEE THE BIG PICTURE IN A PROJECT
  • LAYING OUT THE ARGUMENTS “High degrees of specialization may be rendering us unable to see the connections between the things we design and their consequences that ripple out into the biosphere and technosphere in ways we aren’t trained to see or may never fully understand.” Terry Irwin
  • SPECIALISTS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SPECIFIC MARKET OPPORTUNITIES
  • GENERALISTS CAN EASILY PIVOT IN THEIR CAREERS
  • Making choices in YOUR CAREER
  • IN MY CAREER DO YOU FEEL THE NEED TO BE THE ABSOLUTE BEST AT SOMETHING? YES S NO G
  • IN MY CAREER DO YOU LIKE HANDLING THINGS FROM START TO FINISH? YES G NO S
  • IN MY CAREER DO YOU LIKE WORKING ALONE ON PROJECTS? YES G NO S
  • IN MY CAREER CAN YOU LEARN AND UNDERSTAND FOREIGN CONCEPTS QUICKLY? YES G NO S
  • IN MY CAREER ARE YOU COMPETITIVE & A PERFECTIONIST? YES S NO G
  • IN MY CAREER DO YOU WANT TO WORK ON THE NEW, HIP, SEXY PROJECTS? YES G NO S
  • IN MY CAREER DO YOU NEED MUCH VARIETY IN YOUR CAREER? YES G NO S
  • IN MY CAREER ARE YOU GOOD AT KNOWING WHEN YOU’RE IN OVER YOUR HEAD? YES G NO S
  • IN MY CAREER IS JOB SECURITY A PRIORITY FOR YOU? YES G NO S
  • Making choices for YOUR TEAM
  • FOR MY TEAM ARE YOU SMALL? YES G NO S
  • FOR MY TEAM DO YOU HAVE A DECENT PROCESS IN PLACE? YES S NO G
  • FOR MY TEAM IS THAT PROCESS MORE AGILE THAN WATERFALL? YES G NO S
  • FOR MY TEAM IS AMAZING EXECUTION YOUR TOP PRIORITY? YES S NO G
  • FOR MY TEAM CAN YOU KEEP A SPECIALIST BUSY FOR THE LENGTH OF THE JOB? YES S NO G
  • FOR MY TEAM DO YOU NEED SOMEONE WHO CAN PITCH IN IN VARIOUS WAYS? YES G NO S
  • FOR MY TEAM ARE YOU HIRING A MANAGER, EXEC, OR VERY SENIOR ROLE? YES G NO S
  • Now... QUESTIONS?
  • Feedback on SpeakerRate please! http://spkr8.com/t/2516 Follow us on Twitter: @whafro & @talbs