Should Designers Learn to Code?

This might be a tough topic and could even be controversial.

But to me, the answer is yes.

Before you think of reasons why you shouldn’t, take a time to reflect on this:

1. The world wide web has changed more than ever before since the 90’s and more people are learning to code than it was before.

2. Technology is moving towards Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. If you don’t even know HTML or CSS… it’s quite a shame.

3. Well, if you want to design better and speak to developers efficiently – then speak their language (i.e. code)

I believe, whether you are a CEO, designer, marketer and etc. it’s always good to learn some code. Take cooking, it takes time and practice. Build your own recipes, and soon enough you can build your own ideas.

I also have a second belief. You can learn to code, but it doesn’t mean you have to be an expert coder.

Stay true to what you’re good at.

Designers visualise better than most, and building that skill is far more important. No one can be an expert at everything. It takes hours of delibrate practice to be highly skilled, and how you invest your time is important.

In my opinion, each one of us are unique and some can excel in coding and some won’t keep up. Like cooking, some can become Michelin star chefs and others won’t. Stay in your game.

Learn code on the side, take it at your own pace. Also learn about new technologies and how you can fit in the bigger picture as a designer. Being a coder shouldn’t be a priority, but it sure is too important to ignore as well.

Tracey Wong

Digital Product Designer based in Kuala Lumpur.

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