The Expert vs The Poly[amorous|glot]

Being Polyamorous is an amazing opportunity for consultants/coders of this generation.

Sorry to disappoint if you were hoping to get some deep-rooted thought on multi-partner relationships – unless, the relationships are with technology and the various languages and frameworks currently available. In other words Gotcha! 😈


There are two major trains of thought on engineers that do not specialize in a single framework or programming language. In general it is thought that:

  • They are adaptable / hoppers
    OR
  • They are not experts

On the position of being experts.


In the IT industry, being an expert is a very important attribute for consultants and fulltime developers. The word expert, expresses maturity, experience and more importantly a record of delivering some quantifiable standard of quality. In short it establishes how well someone will be able to take some requirements and create the idea(s) and vision of their employer/client. Generally speaking 5 – 10 years of continuous employment as a JavaScript, C++ or Java developer will often qualify you as an expert with that particular language. “What” you build is less relevant (in the eyes of the industry) than how long you were “building things with it.” Opinions, approaches and even technology itself changes very often and at a pace that it is difficult to truly keep abreast of. This is great to propel innovation, but can be a trap, locking an expert into a particular skill set while the language or platform is seen as valid.

About those hoppers

The CVs of techies in this group are usually the opposite. They focus more on the “what was built” rather than how long. Focusing on what, gives greater room to engage in and express a zest for experimentation and learning. Rather than use a single technology stack for five years building a solid product, you will find that more often than not, there will be a visible flow from project to project using different platforms, frameworks and languages (so, over five years, there may be five+ projects, for example). To be considered “experts” like the traditional definition, companies will aggregate the time spent on each project to generate an equivalency to the traditional consultants.

Pick your poison

Both groups, will get your projects DONE & DELIVERED. It is just really important to understand the differences and how each type can build your organization.

Personally, I think developers/engineers/consultants that have a passion for learning and building things are true experts. The ability to switch between languages offers a compelling asset for any organization – you can rest assured that if tomorrow there is a huge technology shift, those resources can adapt and keep the company moving forward, by reducing the cost of learning and adopting the shift… Matter of fact they were likely preparing for that shift a year or two in advance, and relative to the age of the shift, are already “.”

#PolyglotsAreKool #Java #C #JavaScript #HTML5 #AdaptingVersusAdopting

– Martello Jones

Published by Martello Jones

I enjoy working on interesting projects that make life better.

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