Can any "developer turned designer" share their experience in transitioning to being a designer? I would like to know what you have been through before being a designer, how you got your foot in the door, and why you moved to being an IX/IA/UX designer.
I have been most of the time a software developer since I stepped out of school last 2004 and lately I'm realizing than I'm enjoying wireframing and designing flows more than coding it (and more conscious usability-wise than the project's requirements analysts). I plan on relocating to the US when I get an H1 job and would consider going to a seminar or short course - are these easy to come by in California or New York?
Lastly, most job ads posted here requires Photoshop/graphic design skills and I'm no guru in this aspect. I generally use Fireworks to manipulate graphics and create mockups screens but nothing extraordinary. Is this a requirement?