job titles

Solving Life’s Problems with CSS

Or: When all you have is a CSS hammer, the world looks like a CSS nail.

Whenever I hear a perfectly nice comment like, "Yeah, representing the tech field!" in response to my pure-CSS art, I get a sharp feeling of panic.

Like many people who work on UIs for a living, I have difficulty applying the "tech" term to myself without feeling like a fraud. Impostor syndrome is a hard thing to shake. A front-end specialist? Oh, you mean the stuff that isn’t really code? That amps up the feeling from impostor to villain.

Even though 90% of my daily work revolves around JavaScript, I feel as if the "tech" label is a shiny trophy that I greedily snatched from someone more deserving. As if there are nameless, starving computer science grads out there and I’m stealing the ramen right out of their mouths.

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The spectrum of design roles in 2018

Job titles is a regular topic around here. Occasionally heated, as job titles play a role in the hiring process (why are you asking me React questions for this UX design position role?). And complicated by the fact that there is no agreed-upon standards and the loads of people and companies who don't take them seriously (we just want people who do a good job, make your title whatever you want it to be). Complicated again when someone from the outside needs to look in.

Jasper Stephenson:

Recently, a colleague of mine named Mariko Sugita needed to hire a designer for a website she was creating. She’s an urbanist, and not particularly involved in the digital design field, so she asked the closest designer who happened to be on hand (me), “what kind of designers should I be looking for?”

Jasper takes a crack at it in this post.

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Tales of a Non-Unicorn: A Story About the Roller Coaster of Job Searching

Hey there! It's Lara, author of the infamous"Tales of a Non-Unicorn: A Story About the Trouble with Job Titles and Descriptions" from a couple years back. If you haven't read that original article, I recommend skimming it to give you some context for this one, but I think you'll still find value here even if you don't.

A lot has happened since I wrote that article in 2015, and this follow-up has been in the works for a good six months. I ended up, not with a solution for the job titles conundrum or a manifesto about the importance of HTML and CSS, rather a simple, honest story about my roller coaster ride.

Okay, enough dilly-dally. Let's go!

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“lives in a sort of purgatory”

Brad Frost:

A front-end designer ... lives in a sort of purgatory between worlds:

  • They understand UX principles and best practices, but may not spend their time conducting research, creating flows, and planning scenarios
  • They have a keen eye for aesthetics, but may not spend their time pouring over font pairings, comparing color palettes, or creating illustrations and icons.
  • They can write JavaScript, but may not spend their time writing application-level code, wiring up middleware, or debugging.
  • They understand the importance of backend development, but may not spend their time writing backend logic, spinning up servers, load testing, etc.

A front-end developer is aware.

The Front End Developer’s Dilemma

Hello, my name is Geoff and I am a web designer. At least, that's what I tell people I do for a living, because it's what most people understand.

The truth is, I am a front end developer. If you read this blog with any sort of regularity, then I don't even need to bother explaining that job title.

Or do I?

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Tales of a Non-Unicorn: A Story About The Trouble with Job Titles and Descriptions

The following is a guest post by Lara Schenck. I heard her tell this story at a CodePen Meetup in New York. I saw an awful lot of nodding heads. It's a fact that there is some trouble in this industry with job titles, descriptions, interviewing, and that whole rigmarole. Check out this story from Lara, then follow her, as I'm sure this isn't the end of this discussion.

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Job Titles in the Web Industry

There are loads of job titles in our industry. The opinion on their usefulness range from harmful (i.e. leads to “not my job” syndrome) to vital (i.e. people change companies sometimes and need common language). Since they are out there and we use them, there should be some consistency to their definition. Perhaps we can get closer to nailing that down.

Let's light this fire, shall we? This is all debatable, of course.

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