I’ve seen a hand full of articles around the web trying to answer the big question for designers recently; Should you learn how to code?

It’s not the correct question to ask. Yes, as a designer you should know how to code. Your whole career is based off of it. Without code your creations would’t be used and admired by people, let alone save the world.

There are many benefits to learning and understanding code. To list a few, you can market yourself wider, build out your own designs, bridge communications between design and dev teams, and the list goes on. Learning how to code can be nothing but good for you.

Mad Men Cast at Bar

[Quick “As a designer, how do I begin learning development?” Maybe another post.]

Depending on where you’re at in your career, you need to answer the real question regarding development. Are you going to continuously improve your dev skills or are you going to gain a basic understanding of HTML & CSS? Another way to put it is, do you want to focus more on design or dev?

Working at an Agency

If you work at an agency like me, then you more than likely have a developer or two on your team. In this case, you don’t have to put a huge focus on becoming an adept developer. Still, it would be an improvement for you and you’re team if you knew at least the basics of HTML & CSS.

Meeting indian summer

Here is where the team to team communication is extremely important to get right. You’ll be better equipped knowing how to translate a design idea to a developer to help them better understand it. It also allows you to make better decisions while designing saving you time. Nobody enjoys designing a beautiful website only to be shot down by a developer. :3

Unless you work at an Ad Agency like Don Draper. Then you probably don’t have a developer. Lorem ipsum dolar sit amet and shit boi.

Maybe You’re a Freelancer

Learning how to develop your designs will drastically improve your market and income. No longer should you outsource development. So much time is wasted trying to translate how your design should exist. Even after all that effort, it comes back janky and half finished making you look bad in the end. Nobody uses your PSD afterall.

Conclusion

For me personally I find coding to be helpful in furthering my career. I don’t have to constantly practice coding but I enjoy it so it doesn’t bother me. I think when working in the web industry it only makes sense to understand how code works.

At any rate, coding is fun for me on the side. The idea of creating an idea and being able to share it with people to use is mind blowing. There are endless possibilities waiting to be explored on the internet. Allowing yourself to design and develop an idea you have will free you greatly. Before you know it you’ll be coming up with quick ideas that you have and pushing them to the web for people to use. Go create something.


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