My Origin Story

My name is Dave Martin. I’m a seasoned product designer.

It all began as a hobby

I started with HTML back in 1999.

I never expected to make money from it, let alone make a career out of it.

That turned into a side hustle

In 2000, I was pulling down a whopping $7.50/hr working produce at Safeway.

The first website I got paid to design earned me $500! At the time, that amount of money rocked my world.

By 2002 I was studying to become a chiropractor, continuing to work on little web projects on the side to help pay for school.

Looking back, I wish I had recognized this earlier, but I never really wanted to be a chiropractor. It just seemed like a respectable profession. My goal was to have a job that I could work 3 days a week (to pay the bills) leaving 2 days a week for me to play with web stuff on the side.

Around 2004, I won a couple web design contests at my university. This caught the attention of a guy named Adam who was launching a startup. He wanted me to join his team. Up until this point, it had never really dawned on me that I didn’t have to become a chiropractor. The idea that I could make a living doing this “web stuff” full time was a major epiphany.

It still required a leap of faith

With 2 semesters left to go, I dropped out of school to join Adam’s startup.

Looking back, it’s was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.

Since then I’ve had the pleasure of working for several amazing companies, and I’m currently a designer at Wildbit (my dream job).

Time to give back

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve been very blessed to work with some extremely smart people. I now feel a strong pull to give back.

User League is my attempt at doing just that.

If you’re just starting out, I want to help point you in the right direction. If you’ve yet to take the dive, I’d love to help you find a way to transition into product design. If you’ve been at it for a while and you’re looking for ways to level up, I’d love to help you figure out how you can get on the right path toward landing your dream job.

My way is not the only way, but it’s worked for me. My goal with this site is to share one solid interview, article, or resource a week, and to keep sharing until I have nothing left to share.

Where are you at in your journey?

I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know how I can help.

Much love,

Dave Martin

Published by

Dave Martin

Dave is a designer at Automattic.

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