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Which term can be used to describe a person who usually does his works by his own, for example, repairs his car himself, learns through self-studying, etc. (I look for something more specific or specialized term than "independent")

  • 3
    "Self-reliant"? – Dan Bron Dec 11 '14 at 16:05
  • Much may depend on whether you're looking for a positive term (you admire the person's self-reliance), or a negative one (you think he should stick to what he's good at, and not try to rewire his own house or perform brain surgery on his own sick child). – FumbleFingers Dec 11 '14 at 16:17
  • @DanBron I guess it's really close to what I'm looking for. – mok Dec 11 '14 at 16:18
  • @FumbleFingers Indeed I look for a positive term, however I think it would be great if someone mentions the opposite as well. – mok Dec 11 '14 at 16:20
4

One word : Autodidact : a self-taught person.

Auto- means "self" and "didact" comes from the Greek word for "teach.

If you're an autodidact you've done most of your learning on your own.

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An amateur may have those skills:

  • is generally considered a person attached to a particular pursuit, study, or science in a non-professional or unpaid manner. Amateurs often have little or no formal training in their pursuits, and many are autodidacts (self-taught).
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In situations where teamwork is required (e.g. many software engineering firms), a positive term for someone who is able to work on their own when needed might be "self-starter" (a term which admittedly has become somewhat cliched in the corporate world). A person who is unable to work with others and solely works on their own might be referred to in a negative context as a "cowboy" or even a "loner", though the latter is rarely used, as it has connotations about the person's ability to interact socially that the former term does not.

Occasionally I have heard of "cowboy" being used for software engineers in a positive light, but much more frequently it is used in a derogatory fashion, implying the person is unwilling to work with others, follow rules or methodologies, or consider others' opinions or needs.

Merriam-Webster: cowboy 3. one having qualities (as recklessness, aggressiveness, or independence) popularly associated with cowboys

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A jack-of-all-trades is someone who is capable of doing a wide variety of jobs or possesses a wide variety of skills. This phrase can be used positively, but it may have negative connotations as a longer version of the phrase is "Jack of all trades, master of none," implying that someone can do a little bit of many things without actually excelling at any of them. More positive terms are polymath and Renaissance man.

  • Nice one, but a "jack-of-all-trades" (master of none) is a person who, indeed, can do a lot of different things, but is not necessarily doing very well in any of these, so this expression is expected to have a negative nuance. – Pantelis Sopasakis Dec 12 '14 at 0:12
  • Yes, I said it may have negative connotations. However, it's also used more broadly to mean the more neutral "someone who has a wide variety of skills." – Nicole Dec 12 '14 at 4:41

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