Laura Shenck shares a personal anecdote about the issues she faced regarding job titles. Her story includes applying for a role that was titled one way, then being tested in a manner befitting a role of another type.
Why do we seem to struggle so much with titles in our industry? I suspect it's due partly to the rapid pace at which the Internet has evolved, the underlying technologies, tools, and frameworks shifting constantly so that those who build things for the web are ever learning. While that change occurs, it's difficult to even find consistency and agreement as to what our roles and duties are. What is UX? UI design? Front end development? It depends who you talk to.
In Laura's case, it's likely that the person writing the job posting was not working closely with the interviewer. As she mentions:
I smell someone listing buzzwords.
Here at Wildbit, we've had a similar struggle. As a team, we've completed the exercise of defining the guidelines of our various roles. What makes a good designer vs. a bad one. Same for developers, sys admins etc. And we've done the same for the Customer Success team (of which I'm a part of).
But what is our Customer Success role called? Customer Success … person? Engineer? Advocate? It's a familiar problem for anyone who works in the support/success field. And some ask whether the title even matters? They certainly matter less than the work and goals that define your role, but having a title to refer people to does help.
We decided, perhaps lamely, on Customer Success Champion. But, like Laura, our focus is more on what we do and less on the title. As it should be.