Searching for yourself

Reading time: 4 min.
Author: Konstantin

This handbook is trying to find a standard definition for the design technologist, describe hybrid professions, explore the job market, explain benefits and challenges that Design Technologists can cope with, and compare it to other nearby professions.

We are still in a situation when there is no exact definition for the design technologist profession and which skills does it require. You cannot find this job title in Cambridge Dictionary nor Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English; instead, various websites and blog posts contain mixed information about the subject. Besides, companies often use other job titles for the design technologist such as UX developer or engineer, Creative technologist - joined just by the general idea of building bridges between design and development.

This fact also means though that, fortunately, companies have started to use design thinking in their companies and rethink traditional waterfall practices. Modern times require a modern solution - a new approach to product development, when the wall between developers and designers falls despite the traditional division for people who design and for people who build, for how it looks, and how to make it happen. Hence new Design Technologist skill set is combining expertise that no job ever used to have.

Not a surprise that Design Technologists at the start of their career start to feel that something might be wrong with them, and their career path often begins with searching for themselves. Finding a perfect career does not happen overnight, life goes by quickly, and people can find themselves doing not so exciting job and questioning how they got there. Design Technologists regularly end up with asking themselves questions: can I do that, am I smart enough, and do I have enough experience to do that? It is easy to get into impostor syndrome and to think you are not as competent as other people think you are, and thus not to apply to the jobs and the projects you deserve. As generalized specialists, Design Technologists do not have the advantage the engineer experts have in gaining knowledge in their specific discipline because of the continuous switch between different technologies. However, companies should understand the benefits the technologist brings into the business and UX - understanding of the intersection between fields, examining issues and details from multiple perspectives, delivering a broad view to any project. Design Technologists are solving problems with code and could be, in principle, happy as engineers. Still, they thrive by analyzing the bigger picture of the project and examining the impact of code on the product, instead of reviewing code itself.

The situation in the job market is quite positive nowadays; in fact, there was no such profession as a Design Technologist a decade ago. There is a clear trend of jobs becoming more and more hybrid, more complex, and they demand essential new sets of skills. The biggest companies, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and eBay, are searching for Design Technologists right now. Startups also adopt actively design thinking in their procedures, erasing the distinction between design and code and thus also looking for Design Technologists. It can still be hard getting into the professional field of creative technology when you are just starting. Design Technologists have to learn new technologies and trends permanently: a little bit about software development, display tech, and many other things.

This handbook is going to help some of you to overcome challenges, to know yourself better. It also covers positive things: using the latest technologies, being less affected by work automatization, and the main one - a satisfaction feeling, when an end-user sends you kudos about the product you have created.