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Annual Review

August 10, 2006

I had my annual review today – which always brings out my sense of gallows humor. So I had to laugh when the Director\’s Assistant greeted me as I walked out of the review with a sign reading \”You\’re Fired!\”. The image above isn\’t that sign, but I can\’t find the right one in the 30 seconds I have to post before going to bed.

One of the bigger challenges I\’m facing at work right now actually has very little to do with my boss, reviews, or anything like that. Being one of the few people in the school that approaches web design with attention to things like CSS, handicap accessibility, and database backends, it becomes somewhat frustrating to have noone to share the kinds of hoops I\’m getting good at jumping through.

There\’s just something about being able to take a frames-based prototype site (that\’s been designed by an undergraduate student for an independent study course) and in less than 3 days setting up CSS templates to replicate all the requested static bits / moving bits, upgrading 4.01 transitional code (auto-generated, poorly, by Dreamweaver) to semantically-correct XHTML 1.0, teaching her how to optimize image file sizes, and updating the code for an events calendar.

Unfortunately, I\’m realizing that skills like that are fairly arcane where I work – and thus unappreciated. I don\’t expect people to fall at my feet in celebration, but I wouldn\’t mind somebody I could turn to, commiserate with, and celebrate the occasional success with.

I don\’t know – maybe I\’m being melodramatic.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jamie permalink
    August 11, 2006 6:21 am

    You’re not being melodramatic at all… it’s part of the business of being a small operation’s web designer (or DB programmer). Actually, I’ll go so far as to say it’s just part of being an IT person.

    The general user has no idea what goes into the stuff we develop, they just know when it doesn’t work. That’s why everyone always seems so hostile when they see you sometimes (not always, but they’re generally under stress). Add to that that we’re speaking a whole different language in our job, and you get that loneliness.

    Even I, in a larger IT department than you (I assume), get that feeling a lot. I’m surrounded by my users, not other IT guys. And I’m the only programmer on staff. So even my fellow IT guys don’t always get what I’m doing. That isn’t to say they don’t appreciate it at all, but their world is networks and hardware and such.

    Yeah, it’s a lonely life. But someone’s got to do it, I suppose.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    August 11, 2006 7:16 am

    So lonely, hey maybe you two should get together and have Lunch! 😉

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