• Darrell HanleyDarrell Hanley, almost 4 years ago

    I started out having to learn coding with my thesis project, Flood Zone NYC which I've kept up over the years and has improved along side my abilities. I've occasionally gotten to play both roles simultaneously in my career, and occasionally work side projects where I get to helm the designer and developer roles like my playlist generator for Spotify, Dubolt, A color contrast desktop app (wip), and a parody sticker pack for iOS

    If I'm being honest, I've found it difficult to maintain a career as a designer as I have grown as a developer, largely because developers are more in demand and employers usually prefer to utilize me in that capacity than a designer. I do think that for a true hybrid designer, there's an inflection point where your development skills are deep and robust enough that employers are no longer interested in using you as a designer because your engineering talents, to them, are more valuable.

    I think I'm at a point where I'm just going to have to pick one and move forward with that as my specialization. Perhaps I could find a middle ground as an interaction designer and prototyper on a product team, or maybe someday one of my side projects could evolve into an actual business, who knows.

    I think I would still recommend that people learn development, more for what it enables you to do as a solo designer and the opportunities it creates. I think it's also a great leg up for someone who is just starting their careers, but I do think that when it comes time to move up the ladder to senior or leadership roles, the hybrid designer/developer will ultimately have to make a choice.

    4 points