One thing I’ve noticed in all of my Web jobs (four so far) is that my job title does not even begin to capture what I actually do. I imagine this sort of thing is somewhat universal and definitely not limited to Web work, but I’ll focus on that since it’s what I know.
So what do I mean by “slash and learn”? Let me illustrate by example. My official job title is Web developer. A far more accurate job title would be the following:
See all those slashes? Some people would recoil in horror at a list that long, but I actually enjoy the mix of responsibilities. I love to pick up a book or tinker with a new technology to add another slash to my unofficial job title. Slash and learn, baby! I suppose it’s no accident that I’ve gravitated toward smaller shops where I can take on a lot of different challenges. Constant learning is a plus in my book and so I love what I do.
There is a downside of course. Most notably I don’t consider myself a true expert at anything that I do. Some of this is probably due to relentless self-deprecation and being my own worst critic (aren’t we all?), but I really think there’s some truth to it. The good thing is that whenever I reach the limits of my current knowledge of some topic, I usually know somebody who can take the baton (or at least point me in the right direction).
If I worked at a large company, I would probably end up specializing more than I like. However, I appreciate the people who do work at those large companies because they’re usually the specialists I turn to when I get stuck. All my friends at McClatchy Interactive certainly come to mind.
So what’s your official job title and what would be the unabridged version?