In my career I have had to opportunity to work with some amazing people. People that I learned a lot from, and also people I was able to teach a lot about development and usability. I don’t mean that it always did go smoothly, but in business, sometimes you have to defend your work to show people where your expertise is above what their opinions are – and sometimes you learn about what others can show you.
People like Redmar, Menno, John-Pierre, Theo, Eelco, Steven, Dimitri, Nilay and even Joost and Huub, are people that may be anonymous to you as a reader, but absolutely formed not only a pleasure in the working environment, but I loved to work with and those are people I absolutely respect.
And in the working relationship, it is not only that you learn and advance because of people who work in sort-of the same field as you do, but also the people who push you to go a bit further, point out flaws (if you like it or not) of which I have only found six who could really do that well; Rebecca, Lindsey, Kat, Ed, Geoffrey and of course, Ness.
So, besides a little homage to these people, and there are many more that have influenced me (Like Sanne, Henk, Mieke, Chi-Ho, Nichole, Wilco and many others.), there is a reason why I actually write this which is more than sentiment; it is reality; I know it is quite a privilege to meet people during the course of your career that you appreciate as much. Because, it sounds like a nice list of people, but I have met hundreds more… one maybe worse than the other. Finding people who are really qualified is quite rare.
I always am a little bit weary when I meet someone new; a sort of healthy feeling of competition. But the last couple of years I have been missing that feeling a bit, the feeling that makes you defend your workspace. For example, for a certain project a client tries to recruit a good designer with html and Flash skills. And I don’t like to call myself a wizard with any technology, but sometimes I have the feeling that I must be, because so many others who first claim they know about things, when push comes to shove, they don’t. And we meet failure after failure. Impressive resume’s, lousy performances.
Even with a big photo project we are running now, it is more clearly what I mean. A model’s portfolio shows – of course – the best photo a model has. That is both good as well as bad. The good is; the model shows to what wonderful pictures she is capable of, the bad is, they might be the 5 good photos out of a hundred bad ones. We have been in luck that we’ve encountered in the last couple of weeks some amazing models who actually delivered more than expected (a shout-out to Pearl, Tamara, Brian and Jackie), but we have been dealing with models – just like with the designers/developers for the client – with a bad taste in your mouth.
They always talk about a bad economy and that there is a huge amount of unemployment. Well. There is a huge shortage of real qualified people; people who do not only know what they do, but are passionate about what they do. And if you have such a person in your project or work-force… praise yourself lucky, because they don’t come by so many times.