Yackety Yack, again.
This "debate" is stale.
As always, it can't hurt and depends.
As someone who went from a long design career into front end development and now app development, I can make a couple of comments.
Learning to code has opened employment doorways and revenue streams that are very difficult to obtain.
Having the ability to understand how a design is to be built (as well as the technical limitations that may exist) improved my design abilities I feel - in the same way as having worked in industrial prepress and knowing how finishing techniques work made me a more effective print designer.
You become a better team player in an agency environment, and reduce friction between the designers and developers by understanding the challenges both parties face.
You are better equipped to help approach technical problems your designs pose
The ability to produce functional prototypes helps everyone around you
A lot of this is covered in the article, but I honestly see zero downsides to learning about coding if you're a designer. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and leaves you better prepared for future opportunities.
'Specialisation is for insects.' — Robert Heinlein
What's in it for designers?
You become a better team player in an agency environment, and reduce friction between the designers and developers
Why is this problem on the shoulders of designers?
(I say this as a designer who can code)
I don't quite get what you're asking. What's in it for the designer? Other than being a better employee, broadening your career opportunities and not isolating yourself from the rest of the team?
As I mentioned above - knowing what can and can't be done with the technology in the budgets/timeframes allocated helps you draw up say an interface design that won't make the development team freak out. It also means that you can help share their load if you're in a smaller agency (where sometimes the designer might be otherwise sitting on their hands).
This twitter thread on this echoes my thoughts on the matter https://twitter.com/_EricHu/status/841651275590717441
Should designers learn to code? = how can we make developers jobs easier without expecting reciprocation while they make twice our salary
So many articles about how you should let developers work at home because it takes 15 minutes to break concentration yadda yadda
Ultimately everyone should learn as much about their coworkers jobs as possible, but I don't see no "should developers learn to design?"
If you want your employers happy work hard to dispel the myth that only the engineering department matters
"Designers learning to code" is always, ALWAYS about taking the tedious parts of an engineers job and responsibilities away and never about designers earning more skills and increasing their market value.
Just to reiterate, this is my opinion AS a designer who is highly skilled in code too. So well aware of the benefits just also aware about design vs engineering and how the two are treated.
This discussion could go both ways, I've worked with plenty of developers who will just code something without thinking about design, users or business requirements. All they could think about is their code and how perfect it should be. At the end of the day, most users won't care about the code you've written, they won't even care about the design, but they'll care about how they'll use your product.
I don't particularly think should learn to code, work better with developers for sure. But I think designers should at least give coding a try, it will only be for their personal benefit. If you have an idea that might be hard to explain, you can always just code it, or use other means to make it functional so anyone else can code it up.
Asking the question "why are we expected to learn coding?" is a good one, saying "why we shouldn't" is just stupid; there's no reason why you should stop learning, especially with everything going more and more digital, it'll only benefit you. The same way it will benefit developers to understand design better and think more about their users.
We all have come across this debate on whether or not designers should learn coding skill to complement rest of the workflow, get empathy for developers and so on.
This topic is so popular that even it is shown in Designer News post suggestions..
Here's take on the subject from a good friend on "why designers are expected to learn coding" and why it's not really a good idea.
Agree or disagree? Let me know and I'll update it in the blog.