Should Designers Know How To Code?
I don’t believe designers should learn/know how to code. I do believe, however, a designer with the ability to understand the limitations of code is highly valuable to organizations. That is what I believe it boils down to. Employability.
Why Learn To Code As An Employee?
I get it. It is not in the job description. Organizations, however, always value employees who are willing to adapt and learn. With the hundreds of projects you work on in your career as a designer, you may understand the limitations of code simply by the sheer number of projects and the feedback you receive per project. That’s one way you could go about it. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I personally found it more productive, as you will read in the next section, for me to learn to code.
This whole article is not meant to convince you to code, it is a discussion. One side of the argument.
Why Learn To Code As An Individual/Designer?
One of the few reasons I took interest in coding was to bring my ideas to life. I wanted to start something of my own and I believe a lot of other designers feel that way. A year ago, I launched designtarget.org – it was relatively successfully (at least to me, over 20k+ users and I learned so much during that time). None of this would have been possible had I not taken interest in coding, I wouldn’t have been able to launch the early versions of the website on Github, nor would I have, a few months later, moved to WP, and I definitely would not have been able to move later on to VueJs.
I took interest in coding, and it has helped me tremendously, I was able to start something of my own and it was invaluable to me as a designer.
Final thoughts? You do what you think is best for you and your career. Don’t feel pressured into anything, but know the benefits.