This is almost a follow-up of part-1 of this series.
Despite what job postings will tell you, engineering, or marketing, or accounts, or anything is not just knowing the tools listed down in the post.
There is a real reason for this. If a company hires you for knowing Java tools, it is quite possible that in 2-3 years the industry will shift and the company would change their entire toolkit to something else, like Ruby.
Does that mean you have to start over again?
As a graphic designer, you are an expert at 3dsmax because you took 20 courses on the software, but the company you join uses Softimage, or uses Modo. What do you do?
It is of the utmost importance to be true to your field first, and the tools second. Even if you do not know a specific tool or technique, as long as you know pre and post-production visualizations, compositing, the physics of lighting and particle effects for ambience etc. you will be able to become a great animation professional.
As long as you know when static variables or templatized objects can help your design, the cost of using multi-threaded programming, interfacing with real-world linear systems, protocol and API design for high-performance or high-security systems, the design philosophy of real-time systems etc etc you will be a great computer engineer.
You can make similar lists for any and all sets of professions.
The reason tools dont matter is that any good company will hire well enough ahead of time that you can undergo training on the specific toolkits and interfaces after you join.
For me, the reason it is so important to find professionals that know their fields is that almost every tool I have used is limited in some certain features. In my teams, I expect the teams to be willing to ‘invent a new tool’ if they must in order to get the job done.
In fact, this is how most professional engineering environments must work! If the output they must create also requires them to first create a new tool, then lets do that instead of living with the limitations of the toolkits we have.
The most important thing is to create the value we need to create for customers and stakeholders. Whehter one tool can create or another is secondary.
Similarly, the most important thing to know for professionals is how to create that value — using one tool over another is secondary.