Triple Threats and Technical Casting

In the entertainment businesses, performers who can act, sing and dance are referred to as a “triple threat”. It is a term of endearment which expresses the level of achievement the performer has reached in mastering those three disciplines. The industry celebrates the individual and often command higher compensation as a result.

The technology industry does not celebrate this diversity of talent. Instead of celebrating those individuals that are able to combine their skills to become a “triple threat” we try to type cast them into specific roles. You are a developer. You are a business analyst. You are a project manager. You are a tester. The make matters worse we seem to propagate the belief that if you are good at one, you can’t be good at another.

It is my belief that this says more about those who do the type casting than those with what might be a complimentary set of technical skills. It is my belief that we should celebrate those in the technology business with multiple sets of skills and recognise that the building of competence in one area in fact compliments competency in other areas.

As a concrete example, with a good foundation in HTML & JavaScript, along with supporting web-based technologies, a business analyst could help navigate a customer towards a workable solution rather than one that would be too costly to implement given current technology constraints. Of course the analyst would need to be at least competent enough to know when they don’t know something and to do the necessary research to determine exactly what is possible.

In summary, I think we need to drop the tradition of assigning titles to people, and instead focus on the skills that they have and how they can be collectively applied to move projects forward.

One thought on “Triple Threats and Technical Casting

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