History behind the Manifesto

The building industry and its history provide a nice analogy for this. The increasing complexity of building projects has led to the construction industry establishing specialised professions alongside the various trades in the form of architects and civil engineers, who dedicate themselves to essential subtasks of construction while keeping an eye on construction as an overall goal.

In our opinion, the increasing importance and complexity of digitalisation means that the IT sector must take an evolutionary step comparable to the construction industry. It is not about establishing a "super-profession". We want to develop dedicated professions for digitalisation that take on essential subtasks as team players and at the same time do not lose sight of the common overall picture. 

If you share this view and want to support our causes, we would be pleased to receive your Signature under our manifesto!

How it all began ...

The story of this manifesto begins at a Bitkom working group meeting on the topic of roles in software development in June 2016. The starting point for this meeting was the idea that in the IT world we have an unmanageable number of role profiles for a wide variety of tasks. These many profiles hinder cooperation due to numerous handovers and unclear responsibilities. A holistic view, as is necessary for digitalisation and digital transformation, is hardly feasible in this way. Our conclusion was that clearly defined and holistically operating job profiles are needed, as they are common in other industries.

Poster "Software Professions"

A first result of the discussions from this event is this promotional poster on software professions (www.erlebe-it.de/software-berufe) with the three main job profiles of 'designer', 'engineer' and 'manager'.

Poster "Software Professions"

Founding of the Taskforce "Software-Gestalter" / Event Design meets IT

In particular, the term 'designer' then caused a certain stir and interest. In November 2016, Bitkom therefore founded the Taskforce "Software-Gestalter" to shed further light on the topic. In addition to many content-related discussions, the event 'Design meets IT' was the absolute highlight of the taskforce's work (https://www.bitkom.org/designmeetsit/). On this day, round about 180 participants discussed approaches, procedures and methods from media, product and industrial design and explored the question "What can the IT sector learn from designers?

Panel discussion at "Design meets IT"

Guide Role Model »Digital Design«

As a result of the Taskforce "Software-Gestalter", the guide to the role ideal 'Digital Design' was finally published in November 2017. The emphasis is particularly on the ideal. The digital designer should serve as a model for the further development of existing roles. Therefore, the development of the guide also started from the existing roles. It justifies the necessity of digital design as a leading design profession for digitalisation and characterises the competence spectrum of the digital designer with two focal points (design and material science for digitalisation) as well as a diverse cross-sectional competence. We have chosen the symbol Pi as a symbol for this profile with two focal points, hence the Pi on the cover page.

The media response to Bitkom's press release on the guide was overwhelming. Various media picked up on the Digital Designer, including Heise, Computerwoche and CIO magazine. The feedback on the Digital Designer at various conference presentations was also phenomenal.

Foundation of the Digital Design Working Group / Digital Design Manifesto

It seemed that the Digital Designer had struck a nerve. Therefore, in September 2018, the Bitkom task force 'Software-Gestalter' became the Digital Design Working Group. Its home is here https://www.bitkom.org/digitaldesign/

The working group is dedicated to advancing the establishment of digital design as a design profession of digitalisation. The first tangible result is the Digital Design Manifesto on this website.