On October 7-8, a great conversation unfolded on Twitter about the challenges of hiring junior designers. Who has the responsibility to train them, schools or business? Here’s the transcript.
Note: I removed the bulk of the cc’ing among people for the sake of readability. All times are Pacific.
@karenmcgrane Cheaper, too.
— Dan Saffer, 4:12pm
@allartburns It’s a rarity. Look at the listings on IxDA. For every Jr. Designer position, there’s 20 Sr. ones.
— Dan Saffer, 4:13pm
Oh yeah, @odannyboy, I’m looking for Jr. Designers, too!
— Sarah Nelson, 4:37pm
@billder @odannyboy I think it’s that companies don’t know how to train (or want to train) junior people.
— Andrew Otwell, 5:14pm
We’ll have a second valley in a few years if no one enters the field in 2008-2011…
— Dan Saffer, 5:15pm
Say more about that.
— Dan Saffer, 5:35pm
corps now expect students to graduate as complete designers & have given up their prev burden in edu
— Dave Malouf, 5:41pm
they no longer have paths of mentorship, training, etc, especially as designers.
— Dave Malouf, 5:42pm
where are the “college scouting” & 1st year training programs?
— Dave Malouf, 5:43pm
it is another example where in the US we have forsaken the economy of edu. It depresses me.
— Dave Malouf, 5:44pm
You need a fair amount of bandwidth to handle 2 tiers of experience.
— Jared Spool, 5:46pm
I agree w/ this too.
— Dave Malouf, 5:46pm
At Ziba, we hired out of school not expecting complete designers. Can contribute, yes, but still a bit raw.
— Bill DeRouchey, 5:47pm
Other pressing challenge is having enough Sr designers with time and desire to teach.
— Bill DeRouchey, 5:48pm
@billder wouldn’t you agree that Ziba is exceptional
— Dave Malouf, 5:49pm
anyone else flash backing to @ixd09 and @kimgoodwin’s talk?
— Dave Malouf, 5:52pm
@daveixd It’s very likely. But we also had a company size that could absorb ramp up time.
— Bill DeRouchey, 5:52pm
@daveixd I seem to remember a panel at IxD09 on this topic. Who was the moderator again?
— Jared Spool, 5:54pm
I’m mentoring about 20 ppl right now. Some more high-touch than others. They exist.
— Nick Finck, 5:55pm
@jmspool I remember that panel, but I felt it totally went in the wrong direction (no fault of moderator)
— Dave Malouf, 5:56pm
@daveixd sounds like a case for a redo.
— Nick Finck, 5:57pm
@nickf I’m confused aren’t Jr ppl by definition noobs?
— Dave Malouf, 5:57pm
@daveixd Well, it was a bit of herding cats.
— Jared Spool, 5:59pm
@daveixd I think there is three basic tiers: n00b, jr, and sr. n00b just switched careers or started learning
— Nick Finck, 6:00pm
Mentorsing exists, and some shops have good career tracking but was it ever the norm??
— Chris Chandler, 6:01pm
@jmspool Your guess of 50,000 missing designers might’ve been low, amazingly.
— Bill DeRouchey, 6:02pm
@chrischandler Your right, never the norm. Only done by ppl who are passionate enough to pursue it
— Nick Finck, 6:02pm
@billder I had said 10k designers, actually. :)
— Jared Spool, 6:05pm
Another factor is the projects today are likely higher stakes than…
— Bill DeRouchey, 6:06pm
@jmspool @billder give me some context you two. What’s that from? :D
— Nick Finck, 6:06pm
@billder higher stakes, or more complex? Food for thought.
— Nick Finck, 6:07pm
… in the 90s bc digital/web/whatever is more core to a company’s business, if not the entire thing.
— Bill DeRouchey, 6:07pm
@jmspool Jared, I take everything you say and 5x it.
— Bill DeRouchey, 6:08pm
@billder not me, I just high-five it ;)
— Nick Finck, 6:09pm
— Nick Finck, 6:13pm
— Katey Deeny, 6:14pm
@nickf @billder and you should always salt as you go, just a few grains /cc @jmspool
— Chris Chandler, 6:16pm
@nickf as opposed to a manager/leader which I think of as “senior.”
— Katey Deeny, 6:16pm
@followsprocess that’s sorta sad. Management is a skill & perhaps a career path, not a level of experience.
— Nick Finck, 6:46pm
@nickf It’s a really common biz model of leveling though. MS uses it, for instance.
— Katey Deeny, 6:59pm
@michelet re: jr ixds in NYC Heck! It seems all my grads ended up there this summer for either jobs or internships. Keep the opps coming
— Dave Malouf, 8:50pm
@michelet re #2: I like what Apple ID does: 4 ur 1st year there, ur only responsibility is to watch & learn. No expectation to contribute
— Dave Malouf, 8:52pm
@daveixd #2: that’s unrealistic for 99% of companies in all fields and also apprenticeship model is built on jrs doing basic work.
— Michele Tepper, 10:11am
@daveixd #2 what’s more Apple ID can take top .001% based on previous work & portfolios. So they’re not just taking a chance on some kids.
— Michele Tepper, 10:13am
Great convo w/ @billder @chrischandler @daveixd @jmspool @odannyboy @heyotwell & @followsprocess. How do we archive this for others?
— Nick Finck, 12:11pm