Dana: “What is that thing you’re doing?“
Venkman: “It’s technical. It’s one of our little toys.“
So I’ve switched gears in my career, something I think I did behind-the-scenes a long time ago, but now it’s come around to my job title. I’m now Technical Director at Deep Focus. Up until this point I’ve always been an interactive designer or an art director or a Flash designer with a lot of technical skills. Now I’m a technical director with an eye for design.
There’s a few reasons for this gear shifting.
– Programming and development have become intertwined with the designs I create (for instance, I usually will not start projects in Flash that are content heavy unless I can update the site through XML)
– I’ve identified areas where Deep Focus needs to improve on the development process
– I’m a geek and I need to embrace it, because, well, I’m good at the technical stuff.
Websites are no longer shiny islands of static content. Websites are applications, with images, video, news casts, and are constantly in flux. They’re websites of collections of other websites. I’m very interested in this dynamic of website evolution and I’ve continued to learn about the tools that make these websites work. I’m still very much involved in how a website is designed, how it moves and interacts with users, but I feel as though I can have more of an impact infusing great visual designs with equally good programming.
In my opinion there are 2 extremes in web professionals:
Animation & photoshop professionals – these cats make designs that sparkle like a Ferrari and move like liquid
Development professionals – these geeks understand pattern recognition, and try to built sites in an innovative way, whether its a AJAX-powered content management system or dynamic Flash video gallery.
… and then there’s all the people who fall in between.
For a while I was the dude who fell in between, but I’ve become the dude who reviews the designs of the junior designers then looks under the hood at the code and screams when he finds dozens of Dreamweaver-crusted, nested tables and tags all over the place. Or a PHP-driven site with hard-coded headers and footers. Or a 100 image Flash photo gallery that doesn’t use XML. For me it has to look great AND be coded great.
And so…….. it’s time to get some development ass.