tech languages

Web Developer of All Trades is a Master of None

Clark Alford
WordPress Webmaster
Published on Jun-04-2019

It has been said learn to program, not a programming language. That if you learn how to solve problems using code; the syntax or code that you use can be easily learned. However even experienced programmers have a learning curve when tackling a new language. If this wasn’t true there would be no need to specialize in anything. Specializing in one or two areas of programming removes the learning curve and gives one great experience. Some things can’t be taught they can only be experienced. This is where programming wisdom comes from. After enough time dealing with one language or aspect of programming one gains true understanding of it. This is the difference between: knowledge (reading a programming book); wisdom (being able to express what you read in your own code); and understanding (when you have such experience that the code becomes a part of you). I am not totally opposed to learn to program, not a programming language; however I can see the advantage of sticking to one thing and becoming a master of it.


“The jack-of-all-trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim.” – Napoleon Hill


Some would argue that you can do two things at once. Why learn just French when you can learn French and Spanish at the same time. After all they are both romance languages. Multi tasking is a big talking point in some circles. The mantra is get more done by doing multiple things at the same time. The truth is you aren’t doing two things at the same time. Instead of doing one thing well you are just doing multiple things poorly. The power of thought comes from concentration. As Qui-Gon Jinn said, “Your focus determines your reality” and “…remember, concentrate on the moment”. Focusing on one thing at a time makes for higher quality work. This is the whole point of specializing in one area of programming. If you focus on one thing you will become a better programmer in that one area. There is a reason why neurosurgeons get paid more money than the family general practitioner doctor. Clients will pay more money for the comfort of knowing that a particular developer is a specialist in one area. It is human nature when you have a problem to find someone who is an expert in that one area where you have the problem. If I have a plumbing problem I could go to Johnny down the street who is a handy man or I could go to a Union Journeyman Plumber. Just for the record the Union Journeyman Plumber makes much more money than the handy man.


the myth of multitasking


When a client wants help they look for the most qualified. It only becomes a question of money to those that don’t have it. Clients that have the money aren’t concerned about who is cheaper because they have a problem that needs to be solved and they realize that the cost is worth it to get the problem solved. If this wasn’t true you would never be able to raise your rates. Clients don’t care how many languages you know or how many frameworks you have used before. Clients pay for your experience regarding the problem they are trying to solve. They are paying for your knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of a particular subject matter. They are paying you because you can get the job done in the best way possible. In order to be considered the best you must specialize in a particular area and become a master of it.

Why have I decided to focus on WordPress? WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system. WordPress has over 33% of all websites on the web today. WordPress’ market share has grown steadily every year since 2011. In other words WordPress developers have plenty of work and the market share hasn’t plateaued yet, it is still steadily increasing.


i love wordpress


Why have I decided to focus on WordPress and WooCommerce? WordPress isn’t just being used by bloggers. Depending on what market share report you read; WooCommerce is either number 1 or 2 for most popular ecommerce platform. Also just like WordPress; WooCommerce market share hasn’t peaked yet, it is still growing.


“I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little of it.” – Alexander Sattler


WordPress and freelancing are a match made in heaven. That might be a slight exaggeration, however being a WordPress developer is a good choice for someone interested in freelancing. Since so many different types of people and businesses use WordPress the field is open to individual developers or small teams of developers to make a living; not just the large shops or agencies. With 50,000 WordPress sites being launched daily there is work available for those that want it.

Everybody wants a specialist. Even the NBA and NFL pay premium prices for specialist. He’s a shot blocking specialist, a shut down defender specialist, or a 3rd down running back specialist. Corporate Attorneys make more than general small town lawyers. Don’t leave money on the table. Specialize. Get paid what your worth and do your brain a favor and focus.


I Code Because I Can

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