UX matters.com, one of the better online magazines on user experience (UX), just published the article Specialists Versus Generalists: A False Dichotomy? In it, the author (Pabini Gabriel-Petit) mentions the idea of T-shaped people. Quite often. Really often. But it's good!
This article was interesting to me since I often have to refer to my own T-model for user experience professionals T-model: Big IA is now UX (and the addition of business IA). This is another article that explains the idea behind it.
Some quotes from the article:
Organizations should not require designers who have the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to legitimately call themselves UX designers to specialize so narrowly. The best designers are unique individuals who bring diverse talents to their work—they’re T-shaped people
In my view, deep domain knowledge, while essential in a product manager, is not the primary criterion that should form the basis of a UX hiring decision. It’s usually a valuable asset, but there are also some positives that come from hiring T-shaped people who have experience outside your domain.
My dream team would consist of both specialists and T-shaped individuals with knowledge and skills that are both broad and deep.and my favourite:
T-shaped people enjoy sharing their knowledge—with their peers in UX, with UX team members in other specialties, with people in other disciplines on multidisciplinary product teams, and with business leaders. They’re effective mentors and evangelists of user experience.Amen!
Now go and read the article!