I’ve always considered myself a jack-of-all-trades. I think this has to do with the fact that I have a lot of interests. Two interests that have had the strongest influence in my life are programming and design. I feel comfortable in being deep in code as well as in Photoshop or Illustrator. Because of this, I’ve come to be known as a hybrid.
A hybrid might sound nice and all but one of the biggest frustrations that I’ve wrestled with, is not feeling like I’m a master of either spectrums. I vastly enjoy both but I often feel that I don’t have the depth of knowledge or craftsmenship of the two. Although I struggle with this feeling as a hybrid, I’m definitely glad others have pointed out in my career that it is actually an advantage.
This afternoon was one of those moments. I was having lunch at my friend’s house (who is also a client) and he introduced me to a friend of his. I reached out my hand and said my name and the friend replied with his and then proceeded with, “oh I’ve heard much about you”. Surprised and nervous, I asked what he’s heard. He mentioned that my friend had shared about how I was both able to program as well as design some branding materials and that it has been helpful to him and his company.
I kind of shrugged it off but they both agreed that finding a hybrid is rare. In my mind I thought, “Oh word?!”.
I gave it some thought and I did notice some advantages that I have experienced in my career as a hybrid. For one, as a developer who also designs, if I’m in a role where I’m mainly programming, I can easily talk to our team’s designer and discuss technical aspects of her wireframes and mockups. If I’m deep in some code and need some assets from the designer, I can usually extract the assets myself from a Photoshop file and keep moving forward.
Likewise as someone who also designs, I appreciate the iterative process and that design takes time to solve a problem. I also enjoy diving into the why when a design decision is made and being able to explain the thought process. Not to mention, it comes in handy with my personal projects being able to roll both the design and programming sides.
Perhaps being a hybrid isn’t so bad. Flexing both design and programming muscles will help deepen my knowledge of both disciplines. As for accepting that being a hybrid is a good thing, well I’m getting there.