Anil’s post about moving from New York to the Bay area for Six Apart prompted me to go take a curious look at the Six Apart jobs listings.

As much as I enjoy being something of a “jack-of-all-trades” in my computer experience — lots of experience across a wide range of fields — the downside is a lack of comprehensive knowledge in nearly any field. It’s a shame, too, because I think I’m about 80% qualified for a job at Six Apart.

Web Designer/Developer

Terms: Salaried Employee with benefits (Medical, Vision, Dental and Vacation)
Hours: Full Time
Onsite: Yes, required. (San Mateo, CA)
Reports to: Lead Designer

Description:
Six Apart (http://www.sixapart.com/), the company behind the Movable Type and TypePad weblogging systems/services, is growing and we’re looking for a Web Designer/Developer with a combination of strong HTML and CSS abilities and graphic design skills. You will be asked to design and implement elements into existing web applications and websites while maintaining existing UI branding.

The ideal candidate will be hardworking, with a willingness to learn and understands the importance of user experience and brand consistency.

An online portfolio of work is required for consideration.

Whoops, there’s one problem — I don’t exactly have an online portfolio. Only two of my current four stylesheets are mine (and one is really no stylesheet), and my only other “live” design work is the remnants of an old design on my DJ Wüdi propaganda page and a circa-1995 frames-based site for Gig’s Music Theatre left online as a memorial.

What You’ll Be Doing:

  • Design and implement elements into existing web applications and websites while maintaining existing UI branding
  • Work with other members of the Six Apart team to develop solutions to a variety of design-related projects
  • Work with the Six Apart team to help evolve Six Apart’s weblogging products based on user experience and market demands

I think I’m good on all of those. I don’t have any “official” design experience, really, but it’s something I’ve tinkered with from time to time in everything from my websites to a few custom FileMaker Pro databases at my old print shop in Anchorage to redesigning an internal Xerox/Microsoft website for the MSCopy printshop (which, unfortunately, had its plug pulled by the Powers That Be when they decided to move to a .NET based solution rather than a Java based solution), and I’ve generally received good remarks on how things end up being put together.

Requirements:

  • Strong knowledge of basic design principles: page layout, typography, color theory as it applies to the web

Two out of three I think I’m okay on: page layout (dating back to my days as Layout Editor for my High School yearbook) and typography (again, no real training, but I think I’ve got a decent feel for it — though at the same time, I’m sure I could learn a lot). Color theory, though…as is evidenced by my last few site designs, to paraphrase Henry Ford, I’ll do any color you like, so long as it’s grey. ;)

  • Expert-level experience in coding HTML and CSS is required

Hmm. I’d rate myself as extremely good, possibly even approaching expert with my HTML skills. CSS, though, I’m still very much learning, and it would be foolish for me to try to pass myself off as an expert.

  • Mastery and understanding of Web standards a requirement
  • Proven design skills for developing web interfaces with a focus on user experience

The first one, I can pretty confidently say I’m solid on. The design skills…as I mentioned above, I’m untrained, but have generally received compliments.

  • Thorough knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, Powerpoint

I’ve been dabbling in Photoshop for years, but that’s it. Illustrator I can muddle my way through simple stuff, but bezier curves have always confused me. PowerPoint I had to fight with when I was working at MSCopy, and was never very fond of it. With all three, though, I’m pretty confident that I could dramatically increase my skill level if I was using them on a regular basis — I just wouldn’t be coming in with the highest level of expertise.

  • Excellent organizational and communication skills, works well with a team
  • Independent problem solving skills; flexibility to meet tight deadlines
  • The ideal candidate will possess excellent attention to detail and a positive attitude and strong interpersonal skills

I have no doubts about my abilities here. Over a decade of customer service in high-volume, quick-turnaround print shops requires all of those points, and I’ve always gotten consistently good remarks during my personnel reviews. At least there’s something I can be confident about! ;)

Desired Skills:

  • Experience in JavaScript and DHTML a plus
  • Knowledge of Flash is a plus
  • Working knowledge of CVS a plus
  • Familiarity with weblogs a plus

Ouch. Of those four, the only one I can rightfully claim is the last one. The first three — sorry, but those are just not in my skill set. As with my comments above regarding Photoshop, Illustrator, and PowerPoint, I’m fairly confident that given the opportunity, I could come up to speed fairly quickly, but I’d definitely be coming in on the ground level, if that.

Contact Information:

Please apply with cover letter (plain text) and résumé to jobs@sixapart.com.

Please include a resume and link to online portfolio and/or recent work. If providing list of sites that you have worked on, you must include an explanation about your role on that project. Online portfolios are preferred.

Please also include salary requirements.

Much as I’d love to apply, I’m afraid that my limitations — which I try to be aware of and realistic about, without exaggerating them to the point of talking myself out of good opportunities — are enough of a hindrance that I’d easily fall by the wayside to other, more experienced applicants.

A shame, too. While I was also swept up in the recent licensing controversy, I’ve been using either MovableType or TypePad for two and a half years now (since Dec. 21st, 2003, in fact), have no intentions of leaving TypePad anytime soon, and have generally liked what I’ve seen of the folks at Six Apart. Heck, they even put up with me triggering TypePad’s first Slashdotting! From everything I’ve seen, the chance to work with the Six Apart crew could be quite enjoyable, certainly a lot more so than my current job, and quite possibly well worth uprooting myself and moving down the West Coast a bit to the Bay area.

Ah, well. For now, I suppose I’ll just keep tinkering around, and see if I can’t increase the sphere of my “jack-of-all-trades” knowledge to include some more of the skills listed above that I’m lacking. Maybe they’ll still be hiring in a year or so…