We Don’t Need More Designers Who Can Code(medium.com)

over 8 years ago from Saneef Ansari, Consultant Designer & Developer

  • barry saundersbarry saunders, over 8 years ago

    When we say 'designers should learn to code' - what code do we mean?

    HTML / CSS - ok sure. That's not really code though, that's styling.

    Javascript? Ok, fine. That'd be handy. JQuery, maybe one of the 5000 javascript frameworks?

    We work on a lot of apps now though. So Objective-C, Swift, Java, DotNet and whatever the different iterations of Windows Phone run on?

    But then we also have to design for legacy systems, so add Sharepoint, SAP, 15 year old banking software, Sitecore, custom DotNet systems, internal CRM tools for bank tellers, workflow management systems, government reporting requirements, CQ5, government APIs written 20 years ago. Ticketing systems out of the dark ages.

    Then we have to support Wordpress, Ruby on Rails, Drupal, Joomla, Plone, whatever new CMS is flavour of the month.

    Oh, and limited-powered set-top box systems running custom code plugging into video-streaming services and third-party EPG over the top with integrated billing and DRM tools. Video streaming tools for broadcasters with integrated licensing management. Subtitling tools.

    The developers working on this stuff don't know much beyond their immediate project - half the projects I'm on have developers, BAs, tech BAs and DBAs for each aspect of the system. So why on earth am I expected to know how to code for all of it? It's hard enough learning the guidelines and affordances of the platforms, let alone their code and quirks.

    If you're working on a single app or platform, with a simple tech stack, and you have the time to focus on learning some code to make your co-workers life easier, great! But stop making grand pronouncements for the entire spectrum of design.

    0 points