Am I spending too much time developing?

7 years ago from , Designer + Developer

I always say I am a designer first and foremost, but over the past year I've done more and more development work and I've even started to teach front-end development .

I'm sure a lot of you guys are in the same position, do you ever feel like a jack of all trades and master of none?

Should I be more focused or just embrace the two worlds as one?


  • Michael ElliottMichael Elliott, 7 years ago

    So are you a graphic designer? Or are you a front-end developer? Or are you a full-stack developer? These are different things. If you call yourself a graphic designer, you are spending too much time developing. If you call yourself a developer, you're spending too much time making logos.

    Your options basically include the following: stop labeling yourself, or choose a label and continue on that path. Sounds like you don't need a label or a path, so maybe you can do the world some good and do everything, call yourself a developer/designer.

    'Jack of all trades, master of none' is a fucking copout. You can master all trades. Embrace your strengths. Don't conform to a label. Just be a badass like you already are and learn how to be a better developer in addition to design, and you'll be a fucking ninja.

    6 points
    • Robert Farrelly, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

      I just woke up and now I'm like too fucking right I'm a ninja! Thanks for kick the start!

      I normally don't stress about this stuff but was stuck in a room with a bunch of Devs and although I could hold my own for the majority of the conversation there was a lot of… fuck better google that!

      I think a lot of people on DN are coming from different positions but are on the wave length so it's great to hear people's opinion.

      3 points
  • Nathan ManousosNathan Manousos, 7 years ago

    Definitely embrace both. The future is all about software and software is a combination of design and code.

    5 points
  • Cihad TurhanCihad Turhan, 7 years ago

    Look to Teehan + Lax. They are both awesome designer and iOS developer.

    I believe a person having both design and programming skills is like a bird having two wings. Any programmer should has design knowledge about color theories, typography etc and a designer should have know basic coding principles, at least a for, while loop.

    3 points
  • Jon GoldJon Gold, 7 years ago


    Do what makes you happy - everyone doing full-stack design & full-stack dev is filled with this doubt.

    every day I wonder if I'm wasting my time learning iOS dev, and every day I spend time writing Rails instead of hanging out in Sketch I think I'm just covering up for the fact that I'm a shit designer.

    But fuck that - we shouldn't constrain our interests & skills into outdated, narrowly defined boxes. All of my favourite designers have sick code chops, and I want to be on their side of the fence.

    Also - great career advice from Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert). Don't focus on being the best at one thing - focus on being really good at a bunch of things. http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2007/07/career-advice.html

    I interpret that as - 3 years ago there weren't many great designers who could write Rails apps. Now, it's becoming pretty common. We have to find new ways to keep learning and keep us competitive. So keep branching out. Keep expanding your skillset; keep diversifying until you have a unique, rare & incredibly valuable mix of skills.

    3 points
  • Seán MongeySeán Mongey, 7 years ago

    No harm in having more strings to your bow :)

    3 points
  • John CanelisJohn Canelis, 7 years ago

    This post on Medium is great for this discussion:

    Why designers should not code… anymore https://medium.com/on-coding/5fc3f7d5510d

    2 points
  • Carlos MañasCarlos Mañas, 7 years ago

    Learning a new skill is always a super good idea. Frontend development will complement your design skills. Besides, you don't need to master something to enjoy it or be good at it.

    2 points
  • John CanelisJohn Canelis, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    I absolutely feel the same way sometimes, especially being young. I have a lot of passion for UX, visual design, and development. Startups are great for generalists though. I also feel that development is a great brain exercise. Keeps your critical thinking/logic skills sharp.

    Eventually I think it's just up to you as to what you enjoy the most and what skills your employer needs from you the most.

    1 point
  • Tyson SoelbergTyson Soelberg, 7 years ago

    Stay thirsty.

    0 points
  • Adam Kirkwood, 7 years ago

    I find that I tend to cross over to the other medium whenever I feel I want to get out of a creative rut, stuck on trying to solve something with code and just take a mental break. That's when I know I'm spending too much time on a certain medium too much.

    Some context switches are often just the thing you need to get past some obstacles.

    0 points
  • Mason LawlorMason Lawlor, 7 years ago

    I started doing a lot of front end development for a little while too– at least a lot more than I was used to. I practiced doing PSD to HTML and HTML to PHP so that I could do a full site from start to finish.

    In the end– I like doing design more. I've stopped doing as much front-end stuff. I'd say start doing more design if that's what you want. You are probably now a much better designer because of expansion of skills.

    0 points
  • Stéphane Montlouis-CalixteStéphane Montlouis-Calixte, 7 years ago (edited 7 years ago )

    My exacts same Thoughts a few months ago. Take a look at my post.

    0 points