T-Shaped? Why so limited?

The last few years have brought quite some changes to IT. Besides the technological advancements of the times we live in, the basic idea of what an IT specialist should (be able to) do has changed.

In the past, you were either a sysadmin, apps admin or network specialist. There were also team leads, managers and at the top of the foodchain was the IT director. If your company was small(er), the sysadmin was the apps admin, the team lead and manager were one person, and that person was also the director of the company.

A lot has changed. But something that pops up lately is the word “T-Shaped”. It means that an apps manager has other skills than just apps. Apps manager used to be a speciality, but apparently it isn’t anymore. The funny thing of course is that looking at the past, this is nothing new. Another interesting fact is that these days, T-Shaped means that besides your speciality, you have another skill that you can use. For instance, you are an apps manager, with testing knowledge. Or you are a tester who can also develop apps.

To me personally, it all sounds so limited. But that might just be me. Why only two skills? What about being an allround IT “Jack of all trades”? What’s wrong with that? I have an interest in a lot of different things. Some of them I am good at. Others I am really good at. Most of them I enjoy. But now I should limit myself to two, because apparently that is now fashionable in IT? You’re missing out, companies! You’re missing out, IT directors. Such a shame to let all of my talents go to waste.

I am X-shaped. Or maybe even star-shaped. And I am loving it.

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