Desingineer – the mythical person every Startups are looking for

Of course, many a founders who have also asked me, keep saying, “we need a designer who can code in HTML5, CSS3, Javascript and Python/Ruby.” My usual answer is, “you’re looking for a genius, you should try splitting it into (i) a designer who does HTML, CSS (ii) a programmer and (iii) perhaps even a separate Javascript coder.”

Unicorn

Why?

As Chris mentioned, someone who is good (let’s not even consider awesome) in both worlds of design and development are either mythical or very rare. They’re doing something on their own, are already kicking ass and are not available.

I had the privilege to have worked with few of such geniuses and they’re doing very good on their own. I’ve tried my hands on both worlds but never came close to being that good, leave alone being a genius.

If you find someone, who is even close to, or comfortable striding in these two world of designing and development, give them everything they need and have them on your side. They’re some of the rarest breed.

So, what do you say? How many “Desingineer” do you know?

  • Wolfkiet

    Our startup is pursuing one right now, and it's a battle for his services. As for finding one, like obscenity, you know it when you see it.

  • http://studiomagnolia.com/ Cesare

    The non-existence argument might be affected by the fact that there is still an (old) predominant attitude in CEOs and CTOs which think that you can be great either at designing or at developing, but not both. So, even if these creatures exist (and I think so), they are not looked for. I am also confident that this attitude will disappear.

    • http://scottyapp.com Martin Wawrusch

      One person's great is another person's good or average designer. The needs vary, and communication is hard in an industry where most people can't even differentiate between UX and UI design. Also most people have no clue what good design is and reduce it to the visual aspect, hence they are not able to articulate what they really need.

      Most of the time they don't need the unicorn, they need someone with solid UX understanding, coding skills and the ability to modify a template. a.k.a the full stack developer.

      Consumer start-ups, in addition to that, need great visual designers (those who make it to the top at http://www.behance.net/, to some extent dribbble.com and so on), not good ones. I doubt you will find more than 10 worldwide on that level who are also experts on machine learning... 

      They also need UX experts, which should ideally be the founder and the senior developers and the designer, if they are lucky enough to have one. Every member of a startup team has to be interested in UX, and needs to learn as much about it as possible.

      Now this is where I am accepting the broader existence of designeers (or whatever other stupid term people come up with). Someone who has a deep understanding about user experience, how everything fits together in terms of product offering and value provided, and who is able to write you a recommendation engine.

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  • http://www.samelawrence.com/ Sam E. Lawrence

    This is what I am trying to become.

  • http://twitter.com/ommunist J.C.

    I am coding Web Designer, with engineering background, but I more often find myself in the dirt of Linux server maintenance tasks like a greasy monkey, which is very much not like a unicorn in the moonlight.