Y shaped people

During the WinOps conference – http://winops.org/ – I attended a session on DevOps culture. At one point the discussion got on to skill sets.

I introduced the concept of the Y shaped skillset.

You should have a deep understanding on at least one area – C# development, Active Directory, web development, Exchange management – whatever it is you should a ‘go to’ person for that area. That’s represented by the down stroke of the Y

In addition in a devops world you ideally need a bunch of skills that span the devops range. At the top you should have a broad understanding across the range of skills – at least enough to have sensible conversations with other practitioners. Those skills can be backed up with a few areas that complement your main skill as you drop deeper into the Y.

Over time you may see your main skill set change and what was your primary skill migrate into a secondary area to be replaced by something else.

Next time you’re wondering what to learn – think of this model and think about what skills you need to add to complement and build on your current skill set

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