An old joke — What’s common between a software engineer and a railway station beggar? When they meet their colleagues, they ask each other, “What platform do you work on?”
I am yet to learn about the begging business but having worked in the IT industry as a software developer for more than a decade, the joke did manage to extract a brief mirth from me.
Just like any other field of work, software engineering too has its own compartments of specialization. So when a software guy enquires about his fellow engineer’s platform, it generally means he’s interested to know about his specialization — Linux or Windows? Which programming language? Application side or system side? Backend or front end? Development or 0perations? Etc.
However, in the past few years, a new specialization has emerged — the full-stack engineer. Paradoxically, this specialization is about being a generalist, i.e, an engineer who can work on multiple platforms, different programming languages, and play various roles.
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