Interests, values, strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
In order to understand where I professionally am and where I’m going, it’s important to be honest and introspective. In conducting such an exercise, I’m framing my career under a number of lenses, including interests, values, strengths, weaknesses, and goals. By publishing this assessment, I’m better motivated to regularly evaluate how I’ve progressed and make corrections as needed, so my career becomes as intentional as my design work.
I’m interested in building web software that is adaptable, robust, and reliable.
- Progressive enhancement: Design user experiences which enhance based on context of use, minimally including user, device, and browser capabilities.
- Future friendly software: Develop software which can thrive despite ownership changes, disruptive technologies, heterogeneous ecosystems, and unpredictable circumstances.
- Development operations: Craft build systems and purpose tools that work alongside the developer, instead of resisting their work efforts. Ensure every byte sent to production is intentional and consistently generated.
How I work and behave should be designed, not just the work itself. Courageously make choices to be what should be instead of making choices to continue to be as is.
- Intention: Every decision in work processes and work output should be deliberate.
- Challenge: Question the status quo. Encourage pioneering over settling for the present circumstances.
- Courage: Engage in difficult conversations, decisions, and work without being crippled by fear of repercussions. Assume everyone strives for the collective altruistic betterment of the workplace.
- Respect: Conduct and produce work in ways that dignify the humanity of those both creating and consuming work.
- Craft: Research and practice every day to hone both professional abilities and the quality of work.
Skilled in both design and development, I understand how to inform design based on technological constraints and possibilities, as well as how to translate design intention into a practical reality.
- Interaction design: Understand how to translate user and feature needs into user interface designs. Draft low to high fidelity mockups. Fashion static to interactive prototypes.
- Front-end development: Be responsible for every byte sent to the browser, ensuring the experiences of users align with the vision intentioned by designers.
- Imagination to fruition: Understand why things are. Envision how things should be. Construct what will be.
- Convergence and divergence: Consolidate concepts and spawn new concepts.
- Secondary research: Curate, understand, synthesize, and devise recommendations concerning literature, tools, and processes.
Because I balance the roles of a designer and developer, aspects of both are neglected in my practice. It is difficult for me to fully devote to a single role at the expense of the other role.
- User research: While I’m academically trained in user research, I’d welcome opportunities to practice arranging, conducting, and evaluating tests under the tutelage of a seasoned researcher.
- Documentation: Because I can quickly develop what I design, it is easy to neglect the documentation of design rationale. I need to be more conscience of recording the story as it is, how it should change, and why it should change in that way.
- Quality assurance: Robust code needs robust tests, and none of my work has ever included automated tests, unit tests, or code style checks. Quality assurance should be an active part of my development process.
- Public speaking: Formally presenting professional topics about twice a year is insufficient to be comfortable as a speaker. I need to refine and present prior talks for new audiences, rather than just focusing on generating new content.
I want to work in environments which welcome, foster, and empower design and designers. I should share expertise with and contribute back to the communities from which I’ve learned and grown.
- Design, not defend the value of design. A significant part of my job over the last three years has been trying to shift the perspective of design within the workplace to empower designers, so they can contribute in the unique ways in which only they are capable. Work culture should welcome and empower designers, so they can invest time to craft things and processes to improve the lives of others. Designers shouldn’t have to convince others that they should have the power to improve the lives of others.
- Be part of or lead a design team. Being one designer on a team or part of an ad hoc community of practice is insufficient for both personal growth and the health of the community. Design needs to be supported within the workplace. Authorities within the design community need to be officially recognized by leadership.
- Mentor and be mentored. Professional growth will stagnate without the influence of peers. Designers need mentors to challenge their craft. Designers need to mentor in order to learn how to teach their craft.
- Publish: Consistently author articles about design and development. Share thoughts regarding philosophy, conventions, lessons, discoveries, insights, and workflows.
- Contribute: Engage in the open source community by releasing code and supporting projects.