Dave had a great post about the increasing demand for “front-end”, whatever that means (which is kind of the point).
Writing about the organizational intersection of design and engineering, he says:
If you’re paying money for good design, this makes sense; protect your investment to make sure the designs get engineered well.
This is a great point I’m not sure I ever fully internalized.
In fact, I bet you could make a persuasive powerpoint for a C-level audience which hinges on the fiscal argument for design engineers, e.g. “You believe in design, and you’re paying for it, but you are not getting your money’s worth because of the gap between engineering and design.” I know I’ve seen it.
It’s like a restaurant that believes in sourcing sushi-grade fish, which they pay people to source and purchase, but turns out their cook is just deep frying it and nobody is noticing. Shame.
There’s a mismatch in talent awareness and dispersion. You believe in it and pay for it, but fail to capitalize on it efficiently and effectively due to imbalances and communication failures in your organization.
Perhaps we too often equate job titles with jobs-to-done, e.g. “Oh, we have a front-end engineering and a designer, so we’re good.” Per my analogy earlier, “We have sushi-grade fish, and we have someone in the kitchen, boom! We have a sushi restaurant.”
Like Dave I don’t have answers. Only questions — and observations. Speaking of observations, this one by Dave about job titles for CSS folks is spot on: comedic yet stingingly acute.
I’d argue for a “CSS Engineer” title, someone who knows the ins-and-outs of good CSS architecture that can save your app thousands of lines of code. But that title probably wouldn’t pay enough, so it’d need to be more official sounding like “Render Optimization Engineer Level 6” or something. Now that’ll get the Amazon bucks.
Note: published shortly after, don’t miss part II of this post.