Hey everyone, I'm a web/UI guy from the States who has poked around at the main content on this site off and on for a little while, recently plowed through Everyday UX and Getting Started in UX and have very recently been pondering a move into UX. I'm in that weird spot of tug-of-war between the hybrid-designer who was told "Learn to Code"™ vs. pursuing UX Design outright. In either case, the potential salaries are a great bonus, and each path has their own respective benefits, though I'm trying to figure out which one would be more ideal to my tastes long-term. I think there's a good outlook for both paths, but there is great debate in our industry about whether UX is a legit position or whether designers should be occupying their time learning development and everyone goes agile/fails-often/some other Lean buzzword.
I consider myself a bit of a polymath, and lament that there's not enough hours in the day to explore all the different areas of study. This is one reason why UX seems so interesting to me. I find the psychology fascinating. As well as content strategy. As well as information architecture. As well as the development side of things. As well as a whole bunch of stuff that has little to do directly with UX. Guitar. Snowboarding. The occasional hiking. Tennis. Film dork. Voracious reader. Probably a few other things I haven't hit.
My portfolio is light, as I've been an in-house guy most of my career and there's not a lot I have to show, and the few freelance projects I've worked on the side are either outdated or took too long to wrangle client content (sometimes offering to do a website for someone who didn't actively search you out can be a time sink as they are the ones in no hurry). Oh yeah, I've also been spending my time Learning to Code™. There's a point where I try to balance all that by still retaining something of a life! All these recruiters and hiring managers do want someone who isn't a dead-zone of personality, so I'm told.
So anyway, I'm pondering using this opportunity to realign my priorities and start developing a UX portfolio. I read the recent Ask a UXpert with Jodie Moule and there was some encouraging advice there.
Looking forward to seeing this community grow, and if anyone has advice to the above, that would be great.