17 Mar 2012
Do you ever get the feeling that, as a profession, we're not really getting much better? Designers aren't designing better. Researchers aren't researching better. Developers... well, it's not really for me to say.
I think it's because our best and brightest stop making and start managing too soon. Those with the most talent and ambition are plucked out of practice just when their work is starting to get excited and they become line managers of the less talented and less ambitious.
That's pretty broken, right?
How do we keep young designers designing, young researchers researching, young developers writing code.
How do we recognize and reward their great work without promoting them into a role where they stop doing what they're awesome at and become managers instead.
How do we make it as prestigious to be one of the best designers in the company as we do to give people line reports and fancy job titles?
How do we stop promoting people away from excellence to their level of incompetence? How do we encourage apprenticeship rather than line management? How do we encourage people to take their careers more slowly?
Let's redesign incentive and reward and make being an awesome designer (or researcher or developer) something with an exciting career path, something to really aspire to.