What Do You Call Your Job?Thursday, April 2nd, 2009
At Mindfly, my official title is “Interactive Designer.” I’ve unofficially expanded it to “Interactive Designer & Humorist,” because my research has determined that you don’t need a special degree or oath to call yourself that. Which is more than can be said about my now-abandoned plan of adding “MD” to my title, which apparently offends members of the medical community and possibly constitutes a crime.
To complicate matters, my business cards says “Developer” on them. This is largely because I don’t do much conversing with clients, nor am I single, so I don’t have much reason to be handing them out to impress potential clients or dates. As such, I’ve had them for long before my title change. Mind you, my title change didn’t accompany any official change in tasks, merely a redefining what I do, which according to most of my co-workers is “get preachy.”
I’d tell them what to do less if they agreed with me more.
Anyhow, this whole rumination on job title spawned tiny thoughts that crept through my head asking “What do most people in the industry call themselves?” There’s plenty of discussions or surveys on the topic, such as this question from the Web Directions State of the Web 2008 survey, in which about half the respondents called themselves “developer”.
That doesn’t really answer my question. That’s what people call themselves, within the industry, in a survey of their peers. But what do you call yourself to the outside world? When I finally landed a gig in the industry (for which I am eternally thankful to Mindfly for) I called myself a “developer”. That confused most of the people I knew, so I upgraded it to “web developer.”
As expected, I then started fielding questions about how to fix their email problems or broken cable modems.