Explaining the value of my experience to recruiters and potential employers has always been a struggle for me. People see I transitioned from design to development and have doubts about my path, as it’s not as linear as others, or my future career moves.

This is, in part, because I refuse to rewrite my work experience. I have been doing frontend development since I started, but I wasn’t a developer but a designer, and that’s meaningfully different. So I highlight the development part and what I learnt, but I don’t change the job title to pretend I had a different career path.

I have no doubt about the value my experience brings to the table. For example, being a designer who later would make the frontend integration of my design, I can confidently assess what I create as possible and also have a plan about how to develop it.

The obvious reason why this type of hybrid experience is not as widely appreciated is that it’s harder to evaluate. Just as a technical role is usually required to assess the technical abilities of a candidate and a design role is necessary to evaluate a UI/UX portfolio, you will need both to properly evaluate a hybrid experience candidate, and you still will be missing part of the picture because neither the technical role nor the design role can properly evaluate the overlap between the two roles unless they have a similar experience themselves.

And the second reason is most companies refuse to acknowledge that, regardless of the composition of a team or how they organise work, areas like design and development can’t be entirely separated and there’s decisions involving both all the time. Developers make decisions that affect the design and vice versa. And complex decisions involving both at the same time are rarely understood or appreciated.

That’s why now that I am fully a developer, I am learning more than ever about the design decisions that affect how I develop, and also improving how I make proposals and suggestions involving both. Because even if some people don’t appreciate it, it brings to the table a lot of value that due to my experience I can provide.