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June 25, 2021 by Blog

Are you a T-Shaped Developer?

Who is a T-shaped developer? And what are the characteristics of a T-shaped professional?

The T-shaped is nothing but a metaphor representing an individual who is highly effective in a work environment, compassionate, show alert competence, and has a clear understanding. A T-shaped professional is solution-oriented, sapient, and sensible enough. He walks into the shoes of others to try & think from their viewpoint to generate ideas and propose unique solutions. They possess both depth and breadth.

If you want to become a T-shaped developer or want to hire one, you must understand who exactly is a T-shaped professional. Because you might end up confusing him with a full-stack professional!

A full-stack engineer handles all the work of the front-end the back-end of both mobile and web applications. But, a T-shaped developer has a strong finesse in a single niche. This is why his demand is all the more in each industry.

T-shaped developer

Let’s Understand the ‘T’ in T-shaped

The vertical bar of the T indicates someone’s knowledge of a particular niche, while the top of the T denotes someone’s talent for cooperating with individuals of other niches. By and large, a T-shaped developer may have a solid command over Python but can solve problems in PHP, Java, Ruby, etc.

But the question is, why should you learn T-shaped developer skills? If you’re a junior developer, your goal must be to become a specialist in a particular field. You are motivated, full of passion to master that respective field. But, in a world where companies demand cross-platform teams and an agile environment is in fashion, getting involved in a single field can’t offer you much. So, you must be empathetic to branch out into multiple fields. Possess other skills, have other interests and become a more rounded individual.

T-shaped developer skills

Let’s Strive to be a T-shaped Developer

“I am capable of doing a lot of things but best at one from them.’ – T-shaped Developer

Did you know that Tim Brown publicized this term T-shaped developer? Well, in an interview with a magazine he said:

The vertical stroke of the “T” is a depth of skill that allows them to contribute to the creative process. That can be from any number of different fields: an industrial designer, an architect, a social scientist, a business specialist, or a mechanical engineer. The horizontal stroke of the “T” is the disposition for collaboration across disciplines. It is composed of two things. First, empathy. It’s important because it allows people to imagine the problem from another perspective – to stand in somebody else’s shoes. Second, they tend to get very enthusiastic about other people’s disciplines, to the point that they may actually start to practice them. T-shaped people have both depth and breadth in their skills.

There is a second name for a T-shaped person and i.e. a ‘generalizing specialist.’ He is someone who has technical strengths, great knowledge of software development, best at one domain in which they work, and strives to require new skills. So, why should you learn T-shaped developer skills?

The answer lies below!

How to Become a T-shaped Developer?

Are you willing to learn outside your domain? Do you want to work in different parts of the stacks you’re not skilled in? Can you embrace DevOps? If yes, you can easily become a T-shaped developer!

It won’t be wrong if I say that the current worldwide panic has evoked the urge to master multiple skills in people. People who worked from home or worked virtually explored new technologies and upskilled their knowledge. So I encourage you to do the same.

Becoming a T-shaped developer can help you improve your communication, think critically, become solution-oriented, and harness your will.

Here is how you become a T-shaped developer:

  1. Consider problems carefully and then deal with them.
  2. Take part in discussions, point out gridlocks and propose the best solutions.
  3. Let others propose a solution using another platform you know less about just for your learning.
  4. Always raise your voice if a particular feature doesn’t or will not work.
  5. Don’t always stay interested in what you’re already doing. Take interest in the work of other designers too. Do not intervene in their work, just learn so that one day it becomes easier for you to implement that.
  6. Being a T-shaped developer isn’t that easy; it’s indeed time taking. But, don’t give up. Keep up the effort!
How to Become a T-shaped Developer

In a Nutshell

Being a T-shaped developer is influential for the reason that it permits you to learn something new all the time. For instance, if you’re an android developer, your core focus should not be to implement the required changes in an android application. But, you must dedicate some time to learn about iOS, backend, frontend, and stay on top of your knowledge to deliver the best results. This is how you elevate your knowledge in the mobile development domain.

Asking the right questions, participating in discussing the matter, full-fledged involvement in design & development can help you learn perspectives on problem-solving. These are T-shaped developer skills.

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