My Journey in the Tech World: Glorifying God as a UX Designer

by | Jul 5, 2018 | Articles, Faith and Work, Resources

Hey, I’m Hayden. For this season of my life, God has called me into the tech field. I work as a UX designer for Shopify in Canada. By studying the Bible, I’ve learned how beautiful work can be when we do it for God’s glory!

Here’s a truth to sink your teeth into: God created work before sin entered the picture. God created us to work and to work well (Genesis 1:28; 2:15). That realization has changed the lens through which I view my career in the tech world.

Starting a new job has me thinking about how God can get glory from my 9 to 5 as a UX designer for Shopify in Canada. Here are some tangible ways:

Abide with Jesus Daily

Everything starts and ends with Jesus. If I don’t have a relationship with him then everything else I’ll do will end up being for nothing. In order for Jesus to be Lord, He must be Lord of my time every day. I’m still learning what this looks like for me, but I know if I don’t spend time with my Creator every day then I have nothing.

I’m a morning person, so each morning I try to get up 30 minutes early and read some scripture. Some days that looks like a reading a few sentences from my Bible or a devotional like “My Utmost for His Highest”. Other times that looks like reading a whole chapter or short book of the Bible. Either way, I try to make time for reading, prayer, and reflection before I start my day. If I’m being honest, I haven’t been great at this the last few weeks, and I’ve noticed yet again how crucial it is to have.

Here is a challenge from missionary Dick Brogden on how to abide daily in Jesus:

Pray Fervently

A small group of believers who work with me at Shopify gather every week to have lunch. The first time I went we ended our time together by praying for each other, our co-workers, and our company. It was the first time I’ve ever done that but it was so cool! I want to shower my coworkers and company in prayer.

Part of abiding with Jesus means talking to Him. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). I pray that we at Shopify are successful in our mission to “make commerce better for everyone”. I pray that we make the right decisions and that impact people’s lives in good, God-honoring ways. I pray that God continues to bless us as we grow and expand into new markets.

I pray that the software we build will allow a first generation entrepreneur, somewhere in the world, to build a successful e-commerce business that helps lift their family out of poverty. I pray that our businessmen and women will be smart with our money and good to the investors that trust us to make them money.

Do Good Work

If work really was God’s idea, why would we do it any less than 100%, right? Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. Bono writes timeless rock music. Tim Tebow plays professional sports. I design software. Same thing right? Yes! We all can use our God-given gifts for His glory.

Realizing that God created work has given me the freedom to work hard and do it for God’s glory and not my own selfish gain. When I walk into Shopify to design software, I do it as an act of worship to God and service to the merchants who will use our software. Sounds dramatic right? But it’s true and important that I live in that reality, knowing that I have a job to do and that will require hard work and intense focus on the merchants who use Shopify for their livelihood.

Be the Same Person In and Out of Work

Have you ever met a Christian that played the good Christian on Sunday morning but throughout the week was a completely different person? Yeah, me too. If I’m being real here, I’ve been that person before. I can bring God glory by not being lukewarm about my faith– especially at work. I must live out the gospel for others at work and be authentic with who I am as a follower of Christ.

I’m still working out what this looks like for me, but overall I know it means loving my teammates like Jesus would. It means serving them without expecting anything in return. It means making sacrifices for them and being intentional with how I carry myself around them. Being a Christian in tech isn’t common. I must represent Christ well to my fellow tech friends.

Live on Mission in a Local Church

Life isn’t meant to be lived alone. We were created for community. Jesus lived in close relationship with His disciples. When He left them he gave them (and us) a mission to go and make disciples of all nations. He didn’t give that to one person. He gave it to the Church. One way I can bring glory to God is living on mission with others around my area. I must live life with other believers in my community. Together, we must live on a mission to love those around us no matter who they are or what they do.

I saw this demonstrated so well during my time at University. I saw the body of Christ living life together on mission. It was beautiful and we saw people come to Christ, not just because of an awesome Sunday sermon preached by a pastor, but because the love of Jesus was on full display throughout the week in dorm rooms, parties, and classrooms all around campus.

Live Biblically

Business can be messy, especially in tech where everything is moving incredibly fast. When things get tough, it’s going to be easier to cut corners and twist the truth to get ahead.

As a Christian, I have the best how-to book of all time. I must embrace the Scriptures fully in how I live and treat people, all because of what Jesus has done for me on the cross.

Give Like Crazy

I’m blessed to work in tech. I’ve worked hard to get to the place where I can make a good salary. However, I’m not going to trick myself into thinking I got here on my own and that it’s time to sit back and live a selfish life. It’s Biblical to give 10% of my income back to the church, so I do that.

I don’t want to stop at 10% though. I want to give sacrificially to missions. For me right now, that looks like is giving money to missionaries all around the world. I’ve chosen to give to organizations like Chi Alpha and LiveDead, and I pray that God will continue to bless me so I can give even more one day!

Use My Tech Skills for the Kingdom

Giving money is one way to bring God glory when done with the right heart. Another way I’m learning is to use my God-given skills and talents to help the Church. Traveling to churches around the world has made me aware of one thing: tech skills are in high demand. Churches, missionaries, and Kingdom-minded nonprofits are all in need of tech professionals.

Some weeks this is as simple as helping a missionary mom fix her kids iPad. Other weeks it looks like giving ten hours of my time to pastors who need help designing a donation app for missionaries around the world. Both are important and give me the chance to help advance the mission of God and give Him glory.

Rest Well by Taking a Sabbath

Everything begins and ends with Jesus. God gets the glory when I work hard and do my job well, but I also must be obedient and rest. Rest is good. I don’t do it enough and chances are you don’t either. God created me for rest and to rest well. How awesome! I must remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

In Summary

God has created work and given me specific skills that, when used with purpose, bring Him glory. Living in that reality gives me a whole new lens through which to view my career in tech. What are some ways that you’ve learned your work can glorify God? I’m interested to hear more! Tweet them at me.

Hayden Mills

Hayden is a Jesus loving UX designer currently working at Shopify in Canada. He’s a Hoosier at heart with a masters degree in Human-Computer Interaction Design from Indiana University. He’s a proud alumni of IU Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.

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