Drew McDonald

Drew McDonald

St. Louis Self Employed Front End Designer & Developer Joined almost 4 years ago

  • 1 story
  • 83 comments
  • 166 upvotes
  • Posted to Designers who have become developers: how have you found the experience?, Oct 15, 2018

    I learned to code because I'm a control freak and wanted to do it all myself. This is a blessing and a curse, because with how much time I spend developing it's hard to keep my design skills sharp and as a developer I have to focus a lot of time keeping up with kids who got CS degrees.

    I develop full time as a Front End web dev, but I design all of my own projects in Sketch and modeling out the data in JSON with control flow steps before implementing a feature.

    I consider myself more of a developer these days and more of a design enthusiast, which is weird because I've been obsessed with design from a young age after seeing the work of Stefan Sagmeister. I do equally geek out on both design and development though.

    As for diving into code, quit the moment you find you don't like to do it and buff your design skills to the max. I love coding, I love designing, and I've tried getting other design friends into code and they find that they don't like doing it. They find the abstract way of approaching a problem hard to grasp especially since both disciplines use opposite sides of the brain. As a designer/developer, I definitely think specialists could do both sides better than me separately, but at least I can crank out a beast mode MVP by myself. :)

    I personally started with a college Java 101 class I took senior year for fun since most of my design classes were finished except for my internship, and I took a code bootcamp course over summer called Make Games With Us (I think it's called Make School now: https://www.makeschool.com/). I quickly found Objective-C was too difficult for me, and Swift came out at the Apple keynote that year anyway lol. I then learned JS on codacademy, but it was 100% free then.

    I think now Treehouse (https://teamtreehouse.com/) is the best service I can recommend for learning code.

    Good luck to you, I'm sure since you're interested you'll dive in and have a great time and take away something form the journey!

    3 points
  • Posted to Why we don't sell hours (Do you?), Mar 27, 2017

    Personally, I work in 2 week sprints. Client/Partner pays to budget the sprint and the rest of payment is given on delivery. If we like each other and things are going smooth, we continue on and draft up another 2 week sprint. This keeps us non-married in contract, and less risk for both parties. Has been working out well for me.

    0 points
  • Posted to Ping for iOS - Because business cards suck, Feb 07, 2017

    I like business cards... especially when I can take notes on the blank back of one

    1 point
  • Posted to Trump Executive Order Creator, Feb 03, 2017

    lol

    3 points
  • Posted to Why I have no money to pay my rent today and what you can learn from it., Feb 03, 2017

    Glad to hear you're addressing your habits. People will criticize, but I did the same years ago. I don't use as many software tools, (iPhone reminders and alarms are enough) but dedicating to the hustle is the only way to shoot for that lofty goal and land somewhere you want to be. Good luck to you.

    3 points
  • Posted to Lottie, an open source library making animation extremely easy for native apps, in reply to Jan Semler , Feb 02, 2017

    I've used this library, pretty fantastic!

    0 points
  • Posted to Any designers who work with coded prototypes?, in reply to Andy Merskin , Feb 02, 2017

    I hear a ton of good things about Vue. Currently using Polymer web components and I'm very happy with it.

    2 points
  • Posted to Any designers who work with coded prototypes?, in reply to Patrick Smith , Feb 02, 2017

    Amazing - why build a CMS when there's plenty out there? Very creative.

    1 point
  • Posted to Which Major Design Trends Will Emerge In 2017?, Feb 02, 2017

    Really hoping we move toward content and user needs instead of 'trends'. Content is king, and if your design looks like template then it won't be nearly as successful as focusing on the product or company's brand and voice.

    I feel like I'm seeing more white space than ever before in end of 2016 - 2017 design. Dropbox's newest design is a good example. Very simple and clean - less gradients, more information.

    0 points
  • Posted to Nachos - an open source UI Kit for React Native, Jan 31, 2017

    Looks great! Been looking at React Native, could be the key to get me motivated to try it out.

    0 points
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