A Day in the Life of an Information Architect
Simply put, an “Information Architect” is defined as an individual who creates the method by which your site will portray your company. In the past I’ve been called a “Webmaster”, “Web Developer”, or even a “Web Guru”, which are often applicable monikers for what I do; over time, however, my role within Terrostar has evolved from a straight web developer to something far more complex.
During my day, I tend to touch on all the things that make me an “Information Architect”. I start the day putting on my “Server Administrator” hat by reviewing how the Terrostar servers fared over the last day, proactively checking for updates and checking sites for potential vulnerabilities. From time to time I will work with our illustrious leader to research and implement new technologies.
My next hat can vary day to day, but lets talk about my “Sales Consultant” hat. Very often we will bid on a project that requires more than a standard website. In these cases I will work directly with our Business Development team to gather a full understanding of a project’s requirements and assist in the creation of a proposal.
Time to get my hands dirty, which involves strapping on my “Web Developer” hat. As Terrostar has moved to using ExpressionEngine by Ellis Labs, we have found that the framework built into this system makes my job extremely easy. In fact, there are times when I don’t even need to touch the code of a website; it's all done by the rest of our team. But there are occasions where my finely honed skills are needed on one of those more complex projects, which tend to involve me from the start as the “Sales Consultant”. Which certainly makes it important for me to document the project from the beginning.
I started in this industry as a “Web Developer”, and as such I tend to find myself engrossed in the process of coding. Do you ever find that time has passed so quickly without you noticing? As “they” say, time flies when you’re having fun. Well, the beauty of my role as a web developer is that in addition to having fun, I find that I have tangible results. The most productive times are when I don’t even realize it actually went dark outside.
The short of it is, as an “Information Architect”, I get involved with projects from the ground up. I help plan the foundation and structure. I get my hands into the raw materials of the project and shape it to our design. I support and maintain the virgin structure after it has been opened to the world.
To that, add that the working environment at Terrostar is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Not only are we responsible to ourselves, we are also responsible to each other. Our size makes it really easy to get the team together and discuss the company strategy. Our high and mighty leader gives us the opportunity to make collective decisions that better the company as a whole. These are just a few of the unexpected surprises which have come about in this role with many hats in which I work. Making it much more than just a role, but a true team effort!
“Hats” off to us! ;o) (CM)