Comments on Breaking Stuff

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  1. Would you be advocating and end to specialization? I wouldn’t want an interior designer to install my electrical, and I think that the idea of an end to specialization is like that, developers are such because the have spent time training in their area of specialization, the same goes for designers. Wanting to educate yourself to smooth a handoff is one thing but in this ‘startup’ age we are in every Tom, Dick and Harriet wants some weird amalgam of designer/ui/front-ender/server-sider/hax0r/l33t that doesn’t occur to me to exist. Why do I think that is? Because they want to save themselves a buck most likely while trumpeting to the world just how their little company is going to ‘change the world’. Do you know what happens when you are a jack of all trades? You master none of them. Food for thought. ::steps off soapbox::

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  2. I agree with you and Laura. Being able to understand the code is very valuable and it’s great if you’re able to let’s say explode a string into an array in PHP so you can use the data in the HTML elements you need for your CSS to work. But that’s about as far as I’d go. I think it’s valuable to understand the technobabble of others, but I would never try to interface with a database or read out json.

    The problem is most entrepreneurs look at the web as something like a playground you hire a code monkey for. They can’t be bothered to try to comprehend it’s complexity and importance, that’s probably the reason for most designers to teach themselves some HTML CSS and basic JS to be able to make use of frameworks, because the you either do, or the entrepreneur hires a coder and buys no design but rather just uses some free template. For me it often is a matter of getting the job or not, because the possible client refuses to pay more than one person - no matter the estimated ROI. It’s a sad truth, but most jobs we as designers and coders can get are offered by people who really couldn’t care less about how it’s done and don’t pay a dime over their imaginary budget. *stops writing, getting mad*

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  3. Yea, totally agree. It’s so valuable when a visual designer knows what’s possible or impossible on the web, so we don’t have to argue about it and come to some sort of suboptimal compromise. The same goes for developers (like me, front-end devloper) - we shouldn’t be making stuff that is “undesignable”. In the same way, we also should try to come up with concepts that are easy on a database developer or an API developer (just roles, not job titles) or help them in their roles, even. 
     
    On the flip side, there are folks that we, here in The Netherlands, like to call “millipedes”. Folks that claim to be able to do everything - concept, design, front-end, back-end, database, server maintenance. The works. When that happens due to too much crossover in disciplines, everyone can do everything ok-ish, but noone can do anything brilliantly. 
     
    Personally, I love to do “some” backend. I don’t want to go too much into it, because I know I’m not good at it and I love doing front-end too much. But getting into Angular and taking over some API development that an experienced developer has set up for me, I’m comfortable with that. And I’m sure confidence will follow comfort, especially when I don’t break it on day 1 :)

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  5. Hey Laura! I just saw your article (sorry it’s taken me this long :P) and I didn’t want to just pass it by without letting you know how much I sympathise with you. You of all people have a good idea of what I could do about a year ago, and these days I’m finding myself configuring virtual machines, working with javascript frameworks and running mysql commands from the terminal! :) As a matter of fact, I am teaching people how to use git! (you know that’s a big deal!)
    I couldn’t agree more with your answer to ‘holliday’, just getting a little bit out of your comfort zone will expand your knowledge no end and make you a better professional who’s more capable of working competently on a wider variety of projects and set ups.

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  6. Well being even later to read the article I tend to agree with what you wrote. Yes, I would add specialization is important and needed but wouldn’t it be nice if the interior decorator at least had a bit of understanding say of the electrical when designing the new kitchen to understand what is possible and not.

    I think continually improving oneself while pushing out the boundaries so as to understand other “roles” is important to a more cohesive work environment.
    Plus who can say with the increase knowledge where it may take ones career path going forward if not within the current job the next one.

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  7. I personally found this article quite encouraging. I certainly didn’t interpret that you were suggesting an end to specialization. Sometimes when you focus too much on one particular area it’s easy to say “that’s not my responsibility, someone else should take care of that”. When I first started making websites I learned HTML and CSS. That was my comfort zone and I enjoyed it. However, I felt that I should broaden my skill-set and look into JavaScript and PHP and I’m glad I did because it gave me the opportunity to build more interesting websites with richer functionality.

    At my current company, we have a team for JS and another for HTML/CSS. I specialize on the JS side, but, I found my experience working with HTML/CSS very helpful.

    I could probably write a lot more, but, I think I would get carried away. However, just wanted to say thanks, this article made for an interesting read.

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  8. Great article. It’s good to know that the people I look up to in the industry still have to grapple with stuff. I’ll mention this article on an upcoming podcast episode. Thanks.

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  9. These moments come around every now and then and it’s horrible. They tend to only occur when I’m working on a clients site that has been terribly set up by someone else in the first place, but nonetheless your heart sinks for a second and you know you’ve probably got a few stressful hours ahead of you as you try to fix it.

    We all have our limits somewhere but you always learn from these sort of experiences so you come out stronger in the long run.

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  10. I have read this article and it is Very helpful,The problem is most entrepreneurs look at the web as something like a playground you hire a code monkey for. Harga Yamaha Vixion ,They can’t be bothered to try to comprehend it’s complexity and importance, that’s probably the reason for most designers to teach themselves some HTML CSS and basic JS to be able to make use of frameworks, because the you either do, or the entrepreneur hires a coder and buys no design but rather just uses some free template.

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  11. Sorry, commenting is closed on this article.