The fear

If, like me, you’ve been working in technology for a while, you’ve likely felt that tightening in your chest as ore and more news of layoffs and AI breakthroughs piles up. This feels different than before. I’ve been at this line of work for 17 years now. 

Shifts in tech have come and gone. I’ve been a web designer, graphic designer, illustrator, web developer, product manager, team leader, visual designer, and most recently a product designer (UI/UX design). 

When I meet people outside the tech space I tell them I design apps and websites for a living. 

The shifts in my work haven’t always been because I wanted them. Instead I modified my skillsets based on the overlap of work I enjoyed, what I was good at, and where I thought things were going. Oh and I wanted to make a decent living to provide for my family at the same time.

At one point I seriously comtemplated becoming a developer full time. But, half a dozen failed attempts I stopped trying and focused on what I was good at. 

So, I’ve managed to weather big shifts and keep moving forward with a mind full of curiosity, and have met amazing people along the way to work together with. 

I find myself watching the latest wave pouring in and wondering a few things. I wonder if this will hurt my ability to provide for my family as a career, I wonder if it will discourage new entrants into the field, and I also wonder if it will open up new opportunities that I just can’t see at this point. 

Where I try to land is that I know I can help others, and I enjoy making things. If I can continue to do those two elements, then I may be alright. Over the last few years I’ve focused my design skills more on the wide open and nebulous problem space, and less on the specific interface details. That may be a good thing. 

We’ll see what happens. Time to buckle up!