Honestly, I’m shocked that in 2010 I’m still coming across ‘web designers’ who can’t code their own designs. No excuse.
To further clarify and explain what he had meant by the tweet, Elliot published a blog article to fully explain his views. Blog riots followed, and countless designers and developers published their own blog articles both attacking, and supporting what Elliot said.
One of the reasons I like having a blog is because it lets me share my opinion on topics that affect me. That’s why I’m writing this.
Elliot did retract what he said (to an extent), and said something like “okay, designers do not have to be able to code, but they need to be aware of it”. I think he may have got lynched if he didn’t come out with some sort of statement like that, in all honesty. There are some hardcore Designers out there, you know.
But, there is one major issue that stood out for me that was not really touched on. How employable are Web Designers that cannot build a basic website?
I am a Designer that designs for Web and Print (Web & Graphic Designer), and have learned to code XHTML & CSS quite well. Being able to code the interface you design is empowering, and will give you a great deal of satisfaction from your work.
There are brilliant User Interface Designers out there that probably cannot code a single line of CSS, and still deliver awesome work, which then is built by a Developer. And I understand that, and salute them for being brilliant at what they do.
However, my point is this - if you are a young Web Designer starting out, and you cannot code any of your own designs into a basic working website, then you will really limit your options for employment.
It is easy for Designers at the top end of the industry to say that Web Designers don’t need to know how to code, when they do know how to code. I wouldn’t say that to any young Web Designer that’s just starting out. With a bit of time, and effort, it is possible to learn XHTML and CSS to at least a basic/intermediate level, and doing that will make life easier when going to job interviews.
In harsh economic times employers are wanting more bang for their buck, and are expecting candidates to be able to do more stuff. I’m not saying it’s fair, because it isn’t, but that is the how it is – especially in Northern Ireland where I’m from.
I’m saying that every Web Designer should learn how to code their designs, then at least have the option to choose not to on down the line, and take a step back, and let the Developers do their thing. Having a more in depth understanding of how a website is built will make the designer much better at what they do, and open up more doors for employment.
Do you agree with me?
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