Early in my career, I struggled with the idea of being a generalist vs a specialist engineer. Many of the senior engineers I interacted with seemed to specialize in a specific tech stack, giving me the perception that specializing is the only way to advance your career.
However, a mentor eventually told me:
“You need to dribble and shoot. Nobody wants someone who can only dribble on their team.”
And that stuck.
Reading about how Mike prioritized flexibility and diversity as key qualities when he cultivated the engineering org at Instagram helped reinforce that notion.
I’m also able to experience it firsthand, now that I’m also working at Instagram 😊