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wilderness in  
Software Engineer 4 months ago

Do you think it's worth staying a generalist long term?

I'm a fairly novice SWE in my early 20s, and I've given everything a shot. Crypto, AI, web dev, backend, security, iOS / Android, Rust, even low level code


I'm beginning to consider specializing in something. I've always been intrigued by artificial intelligence especially with the recent explosions of LLMs and generative models generally. But because it's such a broad and complex field, I've never really had the time to focus entirely on it because I'm constantly interested in ten other things at once.


Do you think it's worth staying a generalist long term?

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undertoneSoftware Engineer 4 months ago
Specializing is for machines, we as humans are meant to be generalists. Think about it, we have to live life, learn to cook, learn to communicate, do our taxes, spend time with family, all that jazz. Being a generalist, funnily enough, makes you specialized in the unique basket of things you're good at. It's not one thing, but cross sections of many disciplines that gives you a unique edge. It's funny that you mention AI because that's a great example of machines specializing in things humans can't necessarily be trained on without taking up a lifetime. So at the end of the day AI is a tool for us humans to be more effective generalists and abstracting away complexity in our lives. Essentially technology is just a set of power ups to make things better / easier for us.
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