• Sawyer HollensheadSawyer Hollenshead, almost 7 years ago

    That’s a tough one. I’ve always dabbled between both worlds, mostly out of necessity. I’m an impatient person, so waiting on someone to help me develop or design something hasn’t ever been attractive. When you’re on a small team like we are, you don’t always have the benefit of a dedicated team of developers or designers to work alongside, so you’re forced to adapt and learn new skills in order to get things done. With that said, it’s always helpful to be surrounded by people you can bounce a question off of or get their opinion when you hit a wall.

    Regarding staying fresh and adept: I think deliberate practice through side projects and experiments help a lot with this. For me, most of my day-to-day work is on large monolithic code bases where what you can do is dictated by decisions made a year or so ago, like your build system, framework, or style guide. This isn’t always the easiest environment to try cutting edge stuff, because that stuff wasn’t around when the big decisions were made a year ago. I usually have a ton of ideas for side projects and use those as an opportunity to take a first crack at trying a new library (like React), app (like Sketch), or service (like AWS Lambda). Eventually I can apply those lessons when we work on a new version of a project, refactor, or start something from scratch.

    Would I recommend it? Definitely, if that’s something you’re interested in. To use some buzzwords: It’s great career capital and widens the adjacent (1) possible (2).

    1 point