View Full Version : Scope of your developers skills

January 17th, 2013, 06:03 PM
As a developer, how diverse are your abilities?

I got asked to participate on a small-medium sized project and was told that the "ideal candidate" was someone who could program sites, but also iOS and Android apps, edit photos and video, and also act as a sort of system admin-- all at a high level.

I feel like if I could do all those things myself, I wouldn't need to look for a job, I could just work alone!

As for me: I can build your standards-compliant site with html, css, php includes and functions. I can build basic wordpress themes and know the minimum necessary to securely connect to MySQL databases, and use gimp/inkscape to make basic designs, and touchup photos. also, use google analytics, basic SEO skills... All these things but only at a humble level.

For me this all falls under the umbrella of "freelance amateur web designer", but considering how deep you could delve into any of the above fields, is it too much to ask to know how to do everything?

My question is: how many of you out have sophisticated skills for: developing iOS and Android apps, coding websites, photo/ video editing?

On top of that could you also run sucessfull ad campaigns and optimize the content for search engines? I don't know anybody who does all these things or if it's possible given the number of hours in a day (but then again I don't know too many programmers!) but it seems like the job done well would require a TEAM of people, not just a single cyborg who magically knows everything about computers.

So, as a programmer / developer, what is the scope and depth of your abilities?

January 17th, 2013, 06:43 PM
I can do all of that, and I can cook.

The last person that left that job was because it required 3 people to do that job.

January 17th, 2013, 07:02 PM
Companies always want people who can do everything at an expert level. They pretty much always settle for less.

January 17th, 2013, 07:10 PM
I can fix broken php/css/js but won't bother writing any code from scratch. What else... well, a fair bit of knowledge about SQL. BAT/bash scripting if that counts. The pinnacle of my dev skills is probably the ability to write something simple in Python.

When I realize I need classes or objects or memory management, my head explodes and I just say "no can do". Then again, I'm not really a developer. :)

January 17th, 2013, 09:18 PM
I can do all of that, and I can cook.

The last person that left that job was because it required 3 people to do that job.

I'll take a burger and some fries, thanks! just kidding, just kidding. :p
How long have you been in the industry for? I assume you're a professional.
Good to know that it's not impossible to learn, it just takes dedication to reach that guru-ness.

Companies always want people who can do everything at an expert level. They pretty much always settle for less.

I guess I'm just nervous about their response. I'd love participating in a project and deepening my understanding of all the above-mentioned skills but it's hard to find people that have the patience, as money and time are increasingly becoming tighter (at least here in italy!)

January 17th, 2013, 11:46 PM
I'm not sure a single person can be a professional at so many things. It's not impossible to know so many things good, but there will always be one or two things you will be better at, then the others. I myself do graphic and web design and that is what I do best, it is highly unlikely that I will be as good of a programmer as I am a designer, and vice-versa unless I'm really talented for both, but then I wont be such a good pilot for example.

I like when ppl know only one or two things, but that thing they know really well. Of course for the companies this is just a loss of money. But then again, when you have car trouble for example, I'm sure you don't go to a guy who knows how to repair cars, toilets and TV's just as good.

January 18th, 2013, 12:36 AM
My coding skills don't go further than writing #!/bin/bash on a text file. After that, I start to scratch my head... (Not really, but sort of :D).

January 18th, 2013, 12:52 AM
Being Italian American, I can appreciate your predicament. Take the risk, you have nothing to lose. How do you say in Italian: "All of the fingers . . ."

January 18th, 2013, 03:07 AM
There's people out there that can do all that, probably at a fairly high level, but odds are they wouldn't work for that company. Most people who are that good at so many things are contractors/freelancers, and likely making alot of money.

Of course, cultivating so many diverse skills is usually impossible in the normal team-dynamic of a standard business, but there are definitely guru-esque hackers out there, somewhere, likely building things in an obscure programming language with undocumented code.

January 18th, 2013, 04:13 AM
:D:D:D My superiority complex wants me to state how awesome I am. :D:D:D

But.... I prob should just say I am retired and walk away before getting embarrassed.......

January 18th, 2013, 11:16 AM
I am currently a "web developer", but I find that a job title and description means close to nothing in this industry. I was brought into my current job to work on a typical Ruby on Rails stack, but I'm currently building a back-end integration system from scratch.

I'm guessing they're looking for a candidate who is flexible and quick at learning rather than a candidate who claims to know everything on that list already.

Blegh, to answer your question:
No experience developing apps, but interested!
Developed several websites, though I suck at design. Typical Python/Django, Ruby/Rails, Java/Tomcat.
Fond of Fireworks and Photoshop for occasional mock-ups and touch-ups.

January 18th, 2013, 12:44 PM
Most developers will learn what they learn as they need it or get traning in anticipation of the skills they think they will need.

Most developers will know enough about a language, programming idiom, development environment, platform, hardware to write something even if they are not an expert in that language, if they apply for that position.

On the job they will learn the extra they need to be proficient in what they do in that language.

Most developers will specialise in one or two languages but can write software in many more.

I specialise in C/C++ but can, and have, written in Javascript, PHP, C#, Bash and other scripting languages, HTML, CSS and well as some x86 assembler.

Depending apon what my job asks of me, i will learn those skills.

As for the skillsets the companies ask for on their job spec; this is a wish list only and most will settle for far less. They want employees with the capacity to learn (and not just by rote).