It’s a hybrid position, you are someone that paints with code. Programmers don’t accept your work as real code, and designers don’t consider it design.
heh. On this point (it’s not the main idea of the article, but its important), we hit this debate hard at Razorfish as we tried to figure out whether we were a part of the “Experience” network (with the IA’s and Designers) or the “Technology” network. I no longer think there’s one answer to this question. But each organization should find a place for the front-end guys that works for them.
I find that the comfort zones for front-end developers vary dramatically. The most successful front-end guys can speak easily with both the “design/creative” teams and the engineering teams. But in the absense of a “superstar” who does all that him/herself, it is important to try to build front-end teams that are a microcosm of the whole, with some individuals who really speak the “design” language and others who speak the “programming” one.
The biggest issue is getting the “design/creative” and “engineering” groups to appreciate each other, and recognize that there is this really important thing that happens right where they intersect.