By Milan Simnovec
Ok, follow me along a path of random thought here, does your title truly matter in this industry anymore short of attaching jr, intermediate and senior to it?
We seem to change titles of positions weekly, titles of types of work monthly, and what industry you are in yearly.
When I started, the title of webmaster was relevant, and now is a hilarious phrase that makes me think of the old he-man cartoons.
I’ve been a "senior web designer" for the last 6 years, but lets be honest, based on skillset and experience I could have declared myself as an art director.
So does it really matter?
In most trades, you don't have 700 titles, you have 2 titles, apprentice and journeyman. Pretty damn simple, I either know that you are a junior learning the craft still, or that you are a journeyman who has some fantastic experience and skill, and can delve into how much skill from there.
I'm starting to think the design, and specifically the web/application design industry needs to adopt this.
I have worked in places where the only thing limiting you was simply a title, or places where they insisted the title meant nothing, and all that mattered was experience and the volume and tone of your voice. So what would have happened in both places if we said hey, theres 5 journeyman designers, and 3 apprentices in this office, your goal is to make journeyman, and from there have a specialty?
The more I think about it and ponder it, the more I love it to be honest, think about how easy it would be job hunting wise, "we’re looking for a journeyman designer with a specialty focus in front end development". I would instantly know that the person they were looking for had some number of years of experience and really knew their stuff about front end dev, and I could assume that they had journeyman base skills in all the other areas.
Now I guess this leads to another question, how regulated should our industry be? The one thing I have loved my entire career is that I can go learn about a specific new shiny or old dusty box of web/app design and not need to spend money on a course or certification.
So would it help to have more of a regulated body with certificates, hours placed in, etc? More and more I start to think yes, when I see someone with 10 years less experience than me advertised as someone with a ton more credentialed title, all based on that's what that person labelled themselves as, and someone or multiple someones with no true knowledge actually bought the sales pitch.
I hate regulations, but boy I love honesty and true experience.
Maybe its time to call myself a Creative Director in the meantime, as I can sell you why I am, and that's apparently all that matters right now.
I may also need to just eat a sandwich.
I just stole another 5min out of your day. You're welcome.