How To Talent Stack As a Developer - 3 Mins

Introduction

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As a developer, there is a constant need to be updated to the latest technology and sharpening your skills to become a better developer.

Through skill stacking, it could help you to position yourself to do work in a specific niche.

That only you could solve beside focusing on becoming, the top 1% of a React developer.

Instead, you could focus on blending multiple skills or experiences.

Like being the top 10% of React, 10% of Django and 10% of GraphQL developer.

Could make you an invaluable asset for anyone who requires your expertise.

What is Talent Stacking?

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Talent stacking is termed by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert comics.

Who had successfully blended his understanding of business, technology and cartooning to create the Dilbert comic strips

I find that this is an upgrade form of what human resource professionals called the T shaped professional.

Which you focus on becoming a specialist and have other skills to compliment you.

How Do You Start Skill Stacking?

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So here are some of the tips I believe it will be useful for you to get started to skill stack.

Reviewing Your Skills

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This is a piece of advice my mentor had always reminded me, while I was searching for a job.

He also told this advice, towards his clients who are PMETs that has recently been retrenched from their job.

To conduct an annual skills review of what you had learnt, to understand what skills you had posses to repackage them to be relevant.

Learning About Interesting topics for Yourself

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This is something you had been doing or learning for a long time in your hobbies or interests.

Which could embark you towards new industries or skills stacks you had never known while you were younger.

Like for me while I was in trade school, I always wanted to learn to be a hacker due to the influence of the book called The Art of Deception by Kelvin Mitnick.

So I started to learn about cybersecurity and further down the road I learnt in school about embedded system development by learning to program Netduino.

This leads me to have an instant understanding of the importance of IoT security for IoT devices.

Which lead me to work for an IoT security startup that I am currently in.

Create an Odyssey Plan

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An odyssey plan is the creation of 3 different life paths of 5 - 10 years into the future.

Which you would like to land into with your current skills or futures skills to do work that you could do.

To avoid playing catch up of new technology and to be self-aware of what is out there.

I learnt about odyssey plan, while I was reading Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.

Who are the co-founders of Stanford Life Design Lab, I recommend you to give it a read if your unsure of your own career.

Conclusion

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In life, there are tons of examples for successful skill stackers who create unique product or services to specific customers or users.

Which leads to mass adoption that may be outside their initial niche when starting.

For example, Apple which blends the eye for design & business skills from Steve Jobs with Steve Wozniak's technology expertise.

Elon Musk who created Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity to populate Mars within his own lifetime.

I hope that by reading this article, it could better help you on your path towards becoming a skill stacker as well.

References