Society has always felt the need to categorize people, usually by a person’s occupation, social ”˜status’ (man I hate that crap) or their hobbies. We are no different in the web industry, we seem to have done a pretty good job of siloing people into specific roles.

“Are you a designer or a developer?”

This is a question that we all get asked on a fairly regular basis and we usually give a nervous either/or answer. But why? Surely we are capable of being both; we are; we are hybrids.

Now sure not everyone is a hybrid but there are many of us out there that are equally skilled as both designers and developers.

This is a topic that I have been thinking about for quite a while, the insecurities within me prodding at me to chose a single silo. It wasn’t until I watched Daniel Mall’s talk at NA Conf in January that I obtained the validation that I was subconsciously seeking in order to choose both. Dan also put a name to this group of multi-skilled wunderkind, ”˜Hybrid People’.

I like the word ”˜hybrid’. It almost has a superhero vibe about it, like we should all wear capes and save unsuspecting visitors from bad design and broken contact forms.

The common argument in support of siloing is that you should specialise because you “can’t be good at everything”. This is absolutely fantastically correct. We can’t know everything, but hybrids don’t know everything, we are just prepared to learn anything. Our lust for cross-domain superhero powers is what makes us hybrids and it’s what makes us different.

Next time someone asks me if I’m a designer or developer I will answer “I’m a hybrid”. Truth be told we are all hybrids, some of us just don’t own the cape.

Matt West