Developers are from Mars, Designers are from Venus

Last year at SXSW I co-lead a workshop, with the wise and handsome Rob Tarr, called “Shit Code: A Story of Betrayal“. In addition to the technical aspects of maintaining code consistency, we also looked a little at the interpersonal issues that tend to crop up, especially among tribes, be they frontend vs backend, consultants vs in-house, etc. To help illustrate this I showed Wittengenstein‘s legendary “Duck/Rabbit”. An image that, depending on how you look at it, could be either a duck, a rabbit, or both.

This was probably the least-techie, most abstractly philosophical piece of my presentation, and I was a little nervous at how it was going to go over. As it turns out, for many it was the highlight of the presentation.

This year I’ve decided to dive further into the human psyche and devote my entire session to studying the interpersonal dynamics that frequent the web development process. Specifically, I’m going to study Designers and Developers, what makes them jive, and what makes them clash. Are they as extreme as the iconic I’m a Mac, I’m a PC trope, or are they more alike than we think? And on a deeper level, what sort of instincts and motivations compel these sorts of people in the process of making design decisions.

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