Design, Don’t Develop

Jesse Weaver says we don’t need more designers who can code:

Saying designers should code creates a sense that we should all be pushing commits to production environments. Or that design teams and development teams are somehow destined to merge into one team of superhuman, full-stack internet monsters.

Let’s get real here. Design and development (both front end and back end) are highly specialized professions. Each takes years and countless hours to master. To expect that someone is going to become an expert in more than one is foolhardy.

Here’s what we really need: designers who can design the hell out of things and developers who can develop the hell out of things. And we need them all to work together seamlessly.

This requires one key element: empathy.

What we should be saying is that we need more designers who know about code.


Ten years ago I had decent front-end development chops, but I eventually came to terms with the fact that I was not a developer and would never be one. I’m a designer (who happens to have an aptitude for technical things).

I know about conditionals and loops and arrays and variable typing, but I use it to talk with developers, not to write my own code.