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It was a hard lesson for me to learn in the past: if you care wildly more than the people around you -- so much that you work late into the night while your grandmother is dying and your coworkers are pounding drinks with their counterparts at a competitor -- you'll just end up really hurt and frustrated and they'll all think that you are the problem.

The author seems like the kind of person that I'd love to do a 3-person startup with. We'd be in an environment where working late into the night is valuable sometimes, and because all of us would be doing that he'd have no reason to be resentful. Hopefully he gets into a group like that before the corporate life trains him to preserve his sanity by not caring so much.

His criticisms come off as seriously naive and green if he was expecting to upend the design practice of a behemoth tech company with many competing business units and products, each with their own leaders, legacy code dependencies, and teams of designers who would poke holes in his design decisions from a UX perspective (e.g. didn't test designs with users, just made it up) and see him as a 'graphic designer' who is a glorified pixel pusher and lacks a fundamental understanding of the field of HCI and user centered design.

This is clearly evident from when he mentioned his outrage that he:

"Never would’ve imagined that I was joining a team of 50+ designers where a bunch of them had never designed before.

And I was “evaluated” at about their level? These weren’t interns, these were designers in their very first roles ever...at Google."

From any UX design professional's perspective, he comes into their world, lacking any background in UX or basic understanding of user centered design methods, and just does the visual design portion of the work, not the actual hard work that goes into understanding human behavior, being curious and testing hypotheses and validating designs with quantitative and qualitative data via UX research methods.

Dude needs to check his ego in my opinion, design is a team sport and anyone can mock up random dribble worthy interfaces in an afternoon and think they deserve the title of designer then diss others who have a 4 year degree in fields related to understanding human behavior, not just art or graphic design (although art degrees are good if you solely focus on visual design due to color theory, typography, understanding design aesthetics, design critiquing etc.)


UI designer ≠ UX designer

Whoops, I misspelled *dribbble

and they'll all think that you are the problem.


The thing is that often they are right. It's almost literally crazy to me that he wouldn't just try to reschedule the meeting and that he would work when his grandma was dying. It's not working long hours that's a problem but in my experience it often correlates with people who don't work well in a team (which this guy seems like a perfect example of).

I do sort of see that, but there's another side to that coin.

This dude, and many people I've met similar to him, takes people on their word and acts accordingly. He might be a bad fit for an environment where this is not respected, but I'd argue this is not a sign of 'not working well in a team'. Rather, it's a sign of him taking people on their word and finding it difficult to work on a team where this is not respected.

I imagine there are plenty of teams, in companies big and small, that do respect these kinds of things. Or at least do so begrudgingly.

My personal experience is that any work environment that does not manage to handle these 'your word is your word' type situations, even if badly, is a horrible place and destined to fail (barring some exceptional situation where they can get away with it).

Outliers like this particular person are a kind of anchor-point. Perhaps it's okay, even necessary, that they don't quite thrive in certain stages of a company. But when they actively flee the ship, it's a horribly sign.

I love working with people who “don’t work well in a team”. There’s something beautiful about these crazies. They make amazing stuff if you just have the wits to lead them.

Or have a problem ;)

you'll just end up really hurt and frustrated and they'll all think that you are the problem.

This so much this.

It’s so hard to find a tribe of passionate driven people who care crazy amounts about their vision and purpose.

He did get into an env like that, later on in the thread he mentions he started shift.com which just raised 140m.

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