Specialization schmation

So I was at this meeting with a team mate, and one of topics that got mentioned was specialization. So while we were on the topic, I kinda heard Roy’s voice in my head saying “Specialization is for insects!” There was also this quote I remembered:

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

On one hand, I reckon there’s just too much to learn in software engineering that there really is a need to focus. But on the other hand, specialization has its own traps. I read somewhere that specialist is just a fancy way of describing someone who doesn’t know a lot on other matters (crap, I can’t remember where I saw that). Using specialization as an excuse to not learn anything else is just too egotistical. And to relate to the quote I mentioned, just imagine a specialist on a particular solution who pushes that solution for every and any problem he encounters even if it doesn’t really fit.

Here’s a similar (and probably more thought of than this brain dump) take to it: Why Office Gurus are Bad (And the Buses Who Hit Them).

Semi-off topic. TIL that quote is called Maslow’s hammer or Baruch’s Observation.

TIL Excel Sparklines

TIL that Excel has this thing called “Sparklines” where you can have a mini-chart or visualization of your data in as small a space as a single cell.  I made samples of the 3 types of Sparklines (Line, Column, and Win/Loss) captured in the image below.  In each of the table, the last column displays the sparkline created for the data in the same row.


The Sparklines thingy is available from the Insert menu of the Excel Ribbon.