Philly ETE #33 – Generalists Are Special – Chris Merrick

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From the abstract:

Software is easier to write today than ever before. With little understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes, a marketer can stream an API firehose into a distributed system to perform a data analysis in just a few lines of code. The proliferation of open source projects and sites like GitHub and Stack Overflow has created a broad toolset and reference library available to anyone with a web browser. At the same time, PaaS and IaaS providers have made one-click deployment and maintenance a reality.

This evolution has caused dramatic changes in marketing and operations departments, where more employees are writing and maintaining their own code, leading to the rise of new titles like “Growth Hacker” and “DevOps Engineer.” It has also fundamentally changed engineering departments, where specialists with deep domain expertise are no longer as mission-critical as they once were.

We will explore how RJMetrics has embraced this evolution by building our technology team around empowered software engineering generalists. These engineers are given broad exposure to enable context-aware decision making, and autonomy to execute those decisions without interference.