Tom Genoni / Design Technologist
April 5, 2020

Skills I Have (and Don’t Have)

Inhabiting a space between designers and developers.
White Sands National Monument

I’ve been designing and building web stuff in San Francisco for a while now. And during this time there have been some dramatic shifts in technologies, and along with it, job titles. UI Developer, Web Designer, UX Engineer — they can mean lots of different things and I often find myself struggling to explain what it is I actually do.

People who are skilled at frontend design are in a great position to help bridge the divide between the design and development…Embrace the fuzziness, encourage [them] to exist between worlds, and let collaboration and great work ensue.

Brad Frost

At a high level, Design Systems Ops is a solid introduction by Kaelig Deloumeau-Prigent to the sometimes ambiguously defined roles of those who, like me, operate with a mix of design and engineering. And Brad Frost’s Frontend Design nicely captures my experience as a frontend designer, describing it as a “purgatory” between these worlds. To their credit, Optimizely did an admirable job describing how UI Engineers fit into the organization and my experience at Thumbtack as a UI Developer was similar. I settled on Design Technologist as it seems to describe my skill set best.

What I do

What I don’t do