Seems like every week someone new joins the crew at FreshBooks. At a place growing so rapidly, it's not uncommon for a preference towards predictability and specialization. In that context, striving to be both a designer and developer is increasingly like swimming upstream.
Recently, I was asked:
So how come u dont like being a full time developer, it pays better no? :P
After a few moments, I replied:
Good question - I guess the dev knowledge does help with salary stuff, but when I look at the field as a whole, the most interesting work is being done at the places where engineering and design are woven together.
I’d like to make interesting things one day :)
Many more moments later (like weeks), I remembered that there was more to it. In 2011, Ryan Singer from Basecamp did a Peepcode learning video where he used design to solve a client problem, while also scaffolding out a rails app to validate the design and build a real product at the same time.
I was spellbound.
I still am. That level of journeyman mastery is still the thing I strive for.
While writing this I also stumbled on another fantastic talk of his from 2010 about weaving design and development.
It's still just as relevant today as it was then.