Do you ever question being a designer or developer?

over 5 years ago from , Product Designer

Every day that I'm a designer and developer I see others doing amazing work which seemingly leaves me in the dust. I get this sense of doom trying to keep up with the times in both the dev and design space while still earning enough to eat.

Maybe I'm suffering from an identity crisis? Maybe I'm overthinking it? Do you ever pose the question to yourself like I do of starting over in some new type of job role or finding a sense of clarity? Deep thoughts I know...


  • Account deleted over 5 years ago


    13 points
    • Andy Leverenz, over 5 years ago

      I have a similar mentality. Sometimes though...it just gets overwhelming. I realize you can't be the best at everything and never will. So it's best to focus on your craft, especially if it's something you enjoy doing.

      What worries me most are the job descriptions I've seen as of late for designer roles. You have to know so much to even get a foot in the door simply because it is what is "hot" right now.

      I remember when you needed to be a Photoshop wizard less than 5 years ago, but today if you use Photoshop you're a dinosaur ( at least that's the perception I get reading the job descriptions). The same is even more true for code, frameworks, JavaScript and more. You coded your website with only CSS and HTML? Blasphemy!

      4 points
      • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 5 years ago

        *Total tangent:

        Funny thing; I haven't really touched code for ages, but I help our devs out with their CSS when something goes wrong. Why? Because I often know CSS better than they do.

        Using Sass and LESS and Bootstrap and whatnot has made people rely on frameworks or tools or wysiwygs and made them relax themselves when it comes to the actual language.

        As for how to keep up-to-date in these things; side projects. For example, I'm working on a video game engine. JavaScript. Many devs laughed at how I didn't use one of the existing frameworks, until I explained that I don't plan to finish. I plan to learn. JavaScript, in this instance.

        2 points
  • Bevan StephensBevan Stephens, over 5 years ago

    Yes, every day.

    You know, maybe you're not as good as these other designers/developers. But they're probably not as good as some other designers and developers. You can spend your whole life feeling crap about that if you want.

    I'm not as good as many of the designers I work with, but I see it as a good thing. As I can learn from them. And if I just get on with my work I will get better and better.

    You've got your whole life to get good at it.Stop comparing your self to others and enjoy the ride.

    7 points
    • Thomas Lowry, over 5 years ago

      Totally agree. You can constantly compare yourself to others. There is a positive side to being critical of your skillsets though—there is probably a good dose of self-awareness that I think is really important. I know there are many things I am good at, but other things I could be better at, so I try to identify those things and find ways to practice and improve, even if not a real project, just as an exercise. On the contrary, I've worked with many people (not just designers) who are totally unaware of their inadequacies and do nothing to stay current or improve...and well...that is a much worse position to be in.

      2 points
  • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, over 5 years ago

    Should designers question?

    4 points
  • Andrew Washuta, over 5 years ago

    I'd echo a lot of the comments above. It's almost a daily thing, and I think part of that comes from the inherent self-loathing that we all have as artists. Between that, imposter syndrome and dribbblification (new word?) of design (work you see sometimes doesn't serve a purpose or it's so beautiful that it makes you feel like shit), it's a recipe for disaster.

    I think a lot of this stems from our screen addiction, and the speed at which information travels. It's definitely major FOMO. Take DN for example: people are always showcasing new products, software, beautiful websites/work, but often I feel like I'm missing something or not keeping with the trends. And that's okay! Just focus on the bits that matter to you.

    There's a great book out by Mark Manson: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fck, where at a high level, he talks about focusing those fcks on things that matter to you — again, what matters to you.

    One thing that keeps me going is motivation/inspiration that I find outside of my screen, be that with friends, at a museum — just breaking away from the computer and getting out into the world. This also helps you get rid of any distractions, be that x amount of Slack channels, that new product that was just announced on DN, or perhaps a cool plugin for Sketch.

    Anyway, don't know if I truly answered this, but oh well, figure there's a morsel somewhere in my ramblings.

    2 points
  • Adam RasheedAdam Rasheed, over 5 years ago
    1. Be a freelancer
    2. Hit a dry-spell
    2 points
  • Aaron Wears Many HatsAaron Wears Many Hats, over 5 years ago

    I get this feeling, a lot.

    One other feeling I get is this horrible "time-frame" feeling, that our industry as a whole is so eager to hire the latest and newest upcoming talent, that we're all literally engineering our future employment opportunities away from us.

    What happens when you're pushing 40, or 50 years old and still having these thoughts? How will it help you thinking you're not very good, when you're at the age where you're unlikely to be hired anyway?

    I should just go into nursing or something I think at times.

    2 points
  • R Z, over 5 years ago

    I also struggle with being in both Design and Development. There's so much new things come out from both spaces and yeah it is super hard to keep up. I guess it's best to ask yourself the question "why do I want to do both design AND development?" My answer is "Because I like it and I can." So yeah, do what you love. Don't get bog down by what you "should" be doing. You have one life to live. Why waste it on some silly labels?

    1 point
    • Andy Leverenz, over 5 years ago

      I definitely agree about the labels. For me, it's mostly trying to stay "available" in case I need a new employer someday. I see so many requirements for a design role these days that it's overwhelming. Very cut throat!

      2 points
  • Jan ZhengJan Zheng, over 5 years ago

    Having an impostor syndrome will make you a better designer or developer. It makes you want to learn and improve. It makes you realize that there are sources to learn from, and it keeps you hungry.

    With that said, there are also people worse than you, who are employed. You are not as bad as you think you are. And if you think you're better at this than anything else, it means you're on the right track.

    If you spend every day wishing you did something else though, then you should probably try out that something else

    0 points