At work I heard a great talk on Thursday from Rob Garrison about how to focus on a technical track career. The talk was really great and since I want a technical track career, I was interested in what he said.
One important point me made was that he said, you must become an expert in something.
However, after the talk, I was left wondering more about exactly how one picks what to be an expert in that would result in a strong technical career. This is a moving target.
1. How broad should the topic be?
b. All topics related to web development with ASP.NET and C#
I guess the answer should be to become in expert in the widest amount of topics you can realistically cover because at some point there is a limit to what you can do, given there are 24 hours in a day.
2. What technology to choose?
I think the answer should be something that is going to be relevant to your current job or a job you want to have soon because if you choose something that isn't going to be applied at work then you will learn it but never use it. Use it or loose it!
3. Should you focus on something internal or external.
I think the answer to this is both. I think you need to pick one thing that is proprietary and one thing that is industry wide. So, I guess that means we need to become an expert in at least two things to build our careers, at least.
4. Fundamentals and being good at your job as is comes first.
I think that becoming an expert is a bit out of a person's reach if they aren't rocking out their daily responsiblities and the fundamentals of what they are doing. I think one needs to be rocking this out before they take on more of a load.