For the Software developer bestiary

The Anti-Expert

Quote: “The new software from MacroWoof Enterprise Inc? Well, I guess it’s 50% good stuff and 50% hype, but that’s good enough for me.”

Also known as: “Jack-of -all-trades”

The software industry is full of experts, real and self-proclaimed. Used in the right way, these experts can be vital to any project, but if you put an expert in the wrong place the expert’s narrow field of expertise will limit your choices. This problem can be summed up by the phrase: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail”. The anti-expert can be used to avoid that kind of situation. An anti-expert knows a little about everything and doesn’t believe the hype, knowing that there is always more than one solution to a problem. The anti-expert is also very much aware of the fact that there is never enough information, so if someone says “this is the best solution for all or future problems!” the anti-expert calmly notes “You have no way of knowing that, but still, the solution seems to be good enough for now.”

Characteristics

The anti-expert is levelheaded, calm and not easily impressed by overenthusiastic people who religiously promote one solution to all problems. Usually the anti-experts are senior staff members, who have enough experience to know the common features of many solutions and leave the particulars to the experts.

Staffing

Software analyst, technical project manager and designer are good assignments for an Anti-expert.

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