Monthly Archives: August 2003

gross stereotypes

i just read an article entitled, can programmers do interaction design?

it would be an understatement to say that i disagree with the hypothesis put forward by this author (she believes the answer to the question above is no – programmers cannot and should not do interaction design). in my opinion, her arguments reflect a set of gross stereotypes that have been floating around the web business for awhile (i.e., code monkeys should know their place at the bottom of the web design food chain).

her thesis (as i read it) also reflects the more general idea that any person who can do job A is not capable of doing job B, if jobs A and B seem to involve differing skillsets. it places people in bland, easily understandable categories (i.e., you = your job) with rigid boundaries. taken to its logical extreme, it would imply that since i am an interaction designer (and programmer), i cannot also be a good father or gardener or beautician (these tasks involve different skills, after all).

if this person were some crank speaking off the cuff in a marginal discussion forum, i could easily dismiss her ideas. however, she is a VP of design at a respected interaction design firm. by association, her views are given some degree of validity – her professional status puts a stamp of authority on a notion that is short-sighted and brutally stereotypical.

i will write this woman personally to express my displeasure. if you find her words as troubling as i do (whether or not you’re in the business), i would appreciate it if you did as well.

under the hood has undergone a few minor revisions:

  • notify me: if you wish to be notified of updates to my blog, you may now enter your email address in the form field in the right column navigation, and click the tiny arrow…you will automatically receive an email notification the next time i noodle.
  • trackback: trackback has been implemented on most newer posts. for those of you who are new to trackback (like me, until about 2 hours ago), you can read ben trott’s great trackback for beginners on the movable type site. if you’re a seasoned pro, you know what to do.
  • look and feel: because i was bored, and you probably were, too…

enjoy the new features…a major overhaul is in the works, but it will probably be a few months. too many other projects buzzing around.

NOTE: once i looked under the hood at some of my code, i realized just how old this site is getting. the cruft is pretty bad, as ryan (h) would say…it’s embarrassing. my CSS is a total trainwreck, and my HTML is aimed towards that dead-end browser i wrote about before.

two-byte gigolo

this week was witness to events which i will refer to as ‘the last straw’.

i’m not going to enter into the postal workers’ hall of multiple-homicide fame, or do my own rendition of falling down. instead, i’m going to quietly leave the world of freelance Web consulting with a whimper, not a bang.

why, you ask? because i’m tired of being treated like a two-byte gigolo, doing web tricks on the corner.

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the sun-dried page

my dictionary sits quietly on a shelf in my living room, taking up five inches of precious book real estate. it used to belong to my ex-stepmother. it sat on a table at my father’s house, open, its spine buckled under the weight of its pages.

at some point, with logic only a 10-year-old could decode, i decided it would be best to leave the dictionary open at its midpoint. i did the math, and chose pages 1150 and 1151 as those that would face the world (misgive to mistress – an interesting pair, in retrospect).

and so the dictionary laid open on the table, exposed to the sun, collecting dust and disinterest. i don’t know how long it suffered there, but pages 1150 and 1151 eventually wrinkled and yellowed, their age a testament to lexical laziness.

it’s hard for me to believe that no one used the dictionary, and then inadvertently left it open at another page (because who, besides me, would be so fastidious as to return it to misgive-mistress). maybe each time i visited my father, i returned the book to its rightful resting place. it was so long ago that i don’t recall.

i just remembered all of this today, as the sun shone through my window and i struggled to remember a word…