Designers with the ability to code and developers with a dash of design skills — the rise of a third, more flexible role is at hand that cannot be pigeonholed solely as a developer or designer.
Shane Morris, Microsoft Australia's user experience evangelist, described the diviner role between pure play developers and pure play designers as a developer/designer mash-up to bridge the gap between the design and the written code.
"You don't know how many meetings I've sat in as a designer, where I've described the design and developer comes back with 'You can't do it'.
"For a lot of developers that's the end of the conversation because they don't have the confidence to engage the developer in a real conversation," said Morris.
"The role of the diviner over the next few years will be to provide that intermediary between the two camps."
Morris said that designers have to acknowledge that if they want to be a part of the game, then they have to play in the game. Designers needed to show up to meetings with all the technologists and show that they were there to play and were not some elitist whose level of involvement is only to meet with developers every two weeks.
While Morris proposed a convergence of skills and increased communication between the developer and designer, Microsoft won't be looking to merge their design tools and coding tools together.
"I don't think we could have jammed all that stuff into Visual Studio. As a user interface designer I think that would be bad for the interface of Visual Studio. I'm happy for there to be two separate tools and think that will continue in the future."
Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining the company as a programmer.Leaving CBS Interactive in 2010 to follow his deep desire to study the snowdrifts and culinary delights of Canada, Chris based himself in Vancouver and paid for his new snowboarding and poutine cravings as a programmer for a lifestyle gaming startup.Chris returns to CBS in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia determined to meld together his programming and journalistic tendencies once and for all.In his free time, Chris is often seen yelling at different operating systems for their own unique failures, avoiding the dreaded tech support calls from relatives, and conducting extensive studies of internets — he claims he once read an entire one.