So maybe it’s my natural inclination toward being a know-it-all, or maybe it’s my belief that a jack-of-all-trades is better equipped for the professional world today, but I tend to stand firmly on the side of: you can’t possibly know enough.
I also love run-on sentences. Look at me go!
I think designers should learn to code, and developers should learn to design. In my time at Xomba, a small web start-up with six employees at its largest, I saw first-hand that designers and developers work hand-in-hand, and, when they don’t quite see eye-to-eye, the entire development process can go terribly awry.
The fact is, a website requires both design and development. In most businesses, these jobs fall to different people, even different departments, and they have to be able to work harmoniously for the website to come to fruition. The problem is that designers and developers speak essentially different languages, and creating a harmonious working relationship between the two is something like putting the ambassadors from China and France in the same room without translators and expecting them to work out a trade agreement. Designers who know code and developers who know design will automatically be off to a better start by simple virtue of speaking the same languages.
I’m not saying that a designer should pick up Ruby on Rails tomorrow, or that a developer should master the intricacies of typography. I’m only saying that each should learn the basics of the project or medium they work with. An app designer should learn the basics of developing for iOS, and a front-end developer should learn the basics of designing for the web.
And at the end of the day… a little generalization never hurt anybody, did it?