Read the Source Code to My Leadership Style
Resolving Merge Conflicts in Design and Development
I’ve always teetered on the line between designer and developer. I’ve worked in agile production workflows as both a designer and developer (separately, and all at once). I studied coursework varying from user experience testing to web development using the MEAN stack. I have always loved design and how it satiates my creative needs as an outlet. I have also always loved the challenge that came with bringing visuals to life with just a few lines of code typed into a keyboard (and honestly, a few StackOverflow discussion boards). After years in agency environments, I’ve learned that I don’t have to choose between the two. I am definitely a designer at heart, but being a developer has made me a stronger designer – by knowing the limitations of what can be built in specific browsers and platforms, knowing how to make websites more accessible, and designing with ease of development in mind – and I’m proud of how well the two skills complement each other.
In my mind, design and development are just two pending feature branches that need a pull request to get their merge conflicts resolved, and eventually, they’ll seamlessly get merged up into the main master branch, together – in solid unity, to work together as one repository getting the job done. This is honestly how I see my design leadership mantra as well. I see my team as always just one pull request away from solving a merge conflict and getting to that haven of going live. This is how I tackle everything: from design and development tasks, to client projects, to team conflict resolution, and honestly, the management of entire departments. I’m just here to help resolve the merge conflicts and get products live. This means figuring out scope, budget, timelines, tech stack, doing design QA, and anything and everything necessary to get products launched, with the empathic coaching assistance of someone who has been in the production team’s shoes.
To this day, I still practice both design and development, and use those skillsets to help form cohesive relationships and clear communication funnels between design and development departments. Now with so many years of production in both design and development, I’m currently helping lead design teams to success to design functional, accessibility-friendly, and high-converting interfaces that development teams are proud to work with.