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I rather am a generalist than a specialists

The one crucial traits that set great innovators apart from the rest, is their extensive knowledge across various subjects. This diverse knowledge base serves as a foundation for their creativity and fuels their ability to excel.

Individuals who possess the curiosity and capability to master different disciplines, industries, skills, and even countries have a distinct advantage. Without even realizing it, they draw upon this broad palette of knowledge to identify patterns and connect seemingly unrelated dots across multiple areas. Furthermore, they can focus and refine their thinking through in-depth exploration.

Expanding one’s knowledge horizons

Orit, a renowned expert in the field, emphasizes that expanding one’s knowledge horizons allows for the connection of seemingly unconnected dots from various disciplines. This process leads to a surge in creativity and analytical abilities, enabling individuals to compare analogies between different fields.

Willingness to learn new skills

Another crucial aspect is the willingness to learn new skills. Vygotsky, a prominent psychologist, argued in 1978 that effective learning occurs within the “zone of proximal development.” This refers to the space slightly beyond a learner’s current knowledge base and skill level, where learning remains within reach. It is in this zone that discomfort plays a pivotal role. By constructively harnessing the power of discomfort, individuals can achieve something new. Since creativity involves venturing into unexplored territory, embracing new experiences becomes essential for cultivating creativity.

Pablo Picasso

Creativity often thrives when analogies are drawn between different bodies of knowledge. For instance, Pablo Picasso merged Western art techniques with elements of African art, inspired by African artists’ ability to incorporate multiple perspectives into a single work. This fusion contributed to the development of Cubism. Similarly, while grappling with understanding planetary motion, Johannes Kepler drew on his knowledge of light and magnetism to comprehend the forces at play. Broadening and deepening one’s knowledge base creates more opportunities for creativity, making individuals invaluable in their respective fields.

Open networker

Becoming an open networker is another key aspect of fostering creativity. Ron Burt, a Professor of Sociology and Strategy, conducted studies to identify the commonalities among extraordinary innovators in various disciplines. He discovered that having an open network explains 65% of the variance in someone’s career success. Burt refers to these successful individuals as “Brokers.” Brokers belong to multiple networks, possess insider knowledge, and can facilitate information flow and introductions across network lines. They become exceptionally creative in their respective domains by disseminating and assimilating knowledge within their social circles.


Imagine being a programmer attending a UX designers’ conference—an unfamiliar field. Meeting new people and familiarizing oneself with new terminology can be uncomfortable initially. However, the long-term benefits of persistently venturing into new areas include increased innovation and the ability to make connections that others wouldn’t. Moreover, this exposure fosters empathy, allowing individuals to understand the challenges others face and step into their shoes. Such relationships with others make individuals indispensable in their fields.

Always remember that to be a successful broker, one must embrace different experiences, even uncomfortable ones. Being open to diverse perspectives and ideas cultivates creativity and expands one’s network, leading to career success.


Being a “versatilist” is vital in today’s professional landscape. Gartner, a renowned technology consulting and research group, introduced this term to describe professionals who can apply their expertise to a widening range of situations and are equally adept in technical and business strategy matters.

As a programmer, you might wonder how you can contribute beyond coding. The answer is simple: go above and beyond what is expected and then negotiate fair compensation for your additional efforts. Your current salary reflects the skills your company is aware of at a given time.

However, if you want to earn more than your current salary, it’s important to proactively communicate your expanded skill set and contributions to the company. Your efforts should go beyond the scope of your regular responsibilities and demonstrate the value you bring to the organization.

For example, if you have taken on additional projects, successfully resolved complex technical challenges, or contributed to process improvements, ensure your achievements are recognized. Document your accomplishments, gather feedback from colleagues and supervisors, and prepare a compelling case to present to your superiors during performance reviews or salary negotiations.


When discussing compensation, focus on the tangible benefits your expanded contributions have brought to the company. Highlight how your efforts have increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved quality, or positively impacted the bottom line. By clearly demonstrating the value you have added, you can negotiate for a fair and deserved increase in salary or other forms of recognition, such as bonuses, promotions, or additional benefits.

Remember, ongoing professional development and a willingness to take on new challenges are key factors in increasing your value and earning potential. Continuously seek opportunities to learn and expand your skills, stay updated on industry trends, and be proactive in offering your expertise in areas beyond coding. By consistently going above and beyond, you can position yourself as an invaluable asset to your organization and pave the way for continued growth and success in your career.


Don’t limit yourself to the boundaries of your job description as a programmer. Embrace versatility, seek opportunities to contribute beyond expectations, and confidently advocate for the recognition and compensation you deserve based on your expanded skill set and impactful contributions to the company.



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