My first job out in
the wild was as an Automation Software Engineer. Routinely assigning
projects today that were due yesterday, the position demanded a
blistering pace. More importantly, my workflow involved researching
user requirements as well as programming and testing my code’s
suitability for these needs.
Through four years of attending
our users’ meetings, scheduling one-on-one interviews, and soliciting
feedback as part of the software testing phase, I filled the role of
researcher and designer along with all the other standard software
development tasks. I went home feeling the most energized and
motivated on days when I interacted with my users.
So why not make it my job to do only that? It was around 2015, as I moved to a
business analyst role in the Sales and Marketing IT department, when I
heard about a type of job called “User Experience Designer”.
A graphic designer by training, the work appealed to me on a new
level. Not only do UX professionals make visual design decisions, they
also perform research and data collection to make design decisions to
suit users, besides relying on having a good “eye”,
gut-feel, and subjective opinions. I was instantly hooked. The next
question was how to truly karate-kick my way into the field.
I realized that my analyst tasks overlapped many of those that a UX
designer performs, but I needed more practice with surveys,
wireframing & prototyping. I also wanted to put more software tools in
my toolkit. Quitting a full-time job, I took a leap of faith and I
enrolled into Bloc’s UX Design apprenticeship and haven’t looked back
Today, I volunteer as a UX designer with Code for PDX
and work on public health improvements with Clackamas county, Oregon.
I am also actively looking for a contract or full-time position at a great company
that takes design seriously through collaboration, honesty, and career