Browse Definitions :
Definition

T-shaped employee

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A T-shaped employee, in the context of human resources, is an individual who has deep knowledge and skills in a particular area of specialization, along with and the desire and ability to make connections across different disciplines. The horizontal bar of the T symbolizes a breadth of general knowledge and soft skills, while the vertical stem of the T symbolizes the depth of technical hard skills. Essentially, a T-shaped individual is both a niche-topic specialist and a generalist with people skills.

Today in information technology, T-shaped employees are in great demand because of an increasing convergence of technologies and changes in software development and delivery models. For some software development jobs, such as those that involve DevOps for example, the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team is essential. This contrasts with the I-shaped skills model that information technology departments valued in the past -- one in which an employee's depth of knowledge in one niche area of IT was valued above all else.

One approach to ensuring that a company has employees with the required knowledge and skills for success is to encourage projects that break down silo walls and create a company culture that nurtures soft skill development. In such a working environment, employees will naturally gain general knowledge and develop people skills as they continue to build the in-depth knowledge required to support the company's business goals.

The term T-shaped employee was popularized by Tim Brown, the CEO of the IDEO, a California design firm known for its collaborative and innovative workplace practices. 

This was last updated in July 2017

Continue Reading About T-shaped employee

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • cyber attack

    A cyber attack is any attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer, computing system or computer network with the intent to ...

  • backdoor (computing)

    A backdoor is a means to access a computer system or encrypted data that bypasses the system's customary security mechanisms.

  • post-quantum cryptography

    Post-quantum cryptography, also called quantum encryption, is the development of cryptographic systems for classical computers ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement)

    A cloud SLA (cloud service-level agreement) is an agreement between a cloud service provider and a customer that ensures a ...

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of non-volatile storage technologies.

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

Close