Wieden+Kennedy » Why We’re Not Hiring Creative Technologists

By Igor Clark, Creative Technology Director

I’ve pretty much had it with the term “Creative Technology”. I’m a “Creative Technology Director” myself, and even I’m over it: already it seems clichéd at best, and at worst, bordering on the meaningless. Here’s why.

Not so long ago, the rise and rise of “digital” meant agencies having to come up with increasing amounts of interactive work. They didn’t know how to do it, so their developers got screwed, and the work suffered. Horribly.

Few outside the tech teams grasped what was involved in building the software needed for digital campaigns. Crazy deadlines, unrealistic expectations, ill-considered and even ill-advised requirements led to ever-more “inventive” technical solutions. Then, when the last-minute hack they had to cobble together failed to stand up to the traffic they never promised it would, developers were cursed and vilified.

But this wasn’t the really bad part. Software folk who found their way into agency-land either loved it, and stayed – or they didn’t, and left. For the ones who stuck around, and who felt the pain most acutely, the really bad part wasn’t the pressure or the deadlines: it was that their work wasn’t understood, so it wasn’t properly recognized.

Their work wasn’t purely science or technology; though grounded in both, it was far from the simple application of formulae or solving of equations. Developers knew that you couldn’t take a creative brief as a set of instructions and just “translate” it into software. You have to interpret it, and that takes an extra spark. A creative spark. They saw this was a fundamental part of the overall interactive creative process, and yet a parallel, creative process of its own. The naming perpetuated the misunderstanding, and so it had to change.

At the same time, people across agencies were recognizing that their existing creative model just wasn’t working out for “interactive”. Crews outside the fortress walls were doing innovative and engaging work, not only through using new and different technologies to do it (openFrameworks, Processing, robots and Arduino, computer vision & Kinect, projection mapping, the list goes on), but also by trying out different approaches and processes. Namely: the technology was the creative.

read the rest @ Wieden+Kennedy » Why We’re Not Hiring Creative Technologists. (not that anyone @ [redacted] will care)