What “Being a Jack of all trades“ really means.

Tobias van Schneider
Desk of van Schneider
2 min readNov 2, 2014


When we create we feel most alive. We have this strong sense and
urge to create something that helps us define ourselves and our lives.
What we create is who we are, and who we are is what we create.

You might have seen Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy pyramid which defined the classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning for the 21st century. According to Bloom’s definition, he starts with the base level, remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and ends with the top level, creating. Following this definition “creating” is the last step in a very linear thought process that many of us learned in school at the very beginning of our lives. You must first have the knowledge in order to create, not the other way around. That’s how we grew up and what we’ve been taught.

Throughout the rest of our lives, we struggle to turn Bloom’s pyramid upside down. Putting “create” at the very first level means learning by doing, actively participating in our lives, in this very moment and feeling alive while gaining new experiences and knowledge which can then be applied to our next endeavor. We call it continued learning and it’s arguably the most important attribute in our ever-changing, fast-paced creative industry.

With this in mind, I’ve been focusing a lot more on personal projects which have helped me shape my professional and personal life. By creating a personal lifestyle that constantly motivates me to create something new, I automatically gain new experiences and knowledge in many different fields which I then apply not only to my professional projects, but also to how I live my life in general.

“The impediment to action advances action.
What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

While specialization has its own benefits and has long been seen as the ultimate path to success, we are now seeing a new, unique wave of generalists who challenge the status quo. Diversity means strength and gaining new perspectives; something that can only help us to make better decisions rather than being too focused on one thing, restricting our judgements.

Being a jack of all trades broadens your horizons allowing you to stay fresh and flexible enough to take on any obstacle that might stand in your way. Through constant creating you are guaranteed continued learning. While others might be still studying, you’re already gaining real knowledge (information + experience) which you can either use to your own advantage or share with your community.

“Jack of all trades and master of some.”

Thank you for reading & Make sure to follow on Twitter
Yours truly, Tobias

(This article first appeared as foreword in the Awwwards Case Study book
which you can still order online.)