Dana Byerly's

Digital Junk Drawer

I’m not the homepage bitch

The other day The Lady and I were joking that the pets think of her as The Treat Bitch and/or The Brushing Bitch. This brought back a funny memory from a long ago job.

In the late 90’s and early 00’s I worked at MTV Interactive. I led a team of front-end developers, then referred to as client-side developers.

My title was Director of Development. Several times in big meetings where introductions were involved there was a Technical Leader who’d give me dirty looks unless I qualified my title with “client-side”, lest anyone think I was leading the same kind of Development as his team. He went on to have a fancy important career working at fancy important places.

My team managed the VH1 site, which was supposed to have a content management system delivered with a slick agency redesign. We only got the slick redesign.

I’m not much of a “behold, my career achievements” person, but I’d count carving up the entire site into includes and creating a process for both editorial staff and developers to manage their work as something I’m proud of. Shout out to anyone who remembers ATG Dynamo droplets!

I trained the more amenable editorial staff how to manage text on the site without bothering developers. One area where a developer had to get involved was swapping out an include. This usually only happened on the homepage, but it happened fairly often.

As much as I tried to create a manageable process to anticipate changes, people would still run to my desk insisting something had to put on the homepage immediately. Anyone who’s worked on an editorial site is probably familiar with homepage turf wars.

One day an editor who never respected my requests to plan ahead ran to my desk, insisting he had something that needed to be on the homepage immediately. Exasperated, I bellowed “I’m not the homepage bitch!”.

Heads peaked out of offices, and necks craned from cubes in a soap opera-esque moment that seemed to last a little too long. Fortunately he laughed and apologized. Most importantly the message was received, no one bothered me about the homepage again.

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