In the modern day of the booming web, having one skill is just not enough for today’s job world. We need to be equipped with as many solutions to scenarios as possible. Freelancers don’t have enough income to sustain themselves, let alone hire someone to help them out. They choose to be a “lone wolf” or a “one man army” on their own terms. For those of us who still haven’t or don’t want to embrace the path of the Freelancer, We must enhance our skills consistently, as if it was the last thing left to do on mother earth.
Think of this as a zombie apocalypse: Survive or die.
That being said, Having knowledge of design and code ( YES, BOTH OF THEM!!!) has become an essential attribute for the modern day job hunter. In my opinion, the skills required by a modern web designer/developer/graphic designer etc are :-
- Knowledge of Design and Graphics (Photoshop, Illustrator, Alternatives to photoshop)
- Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization(Onpage (Offpage optional), Social Media Optimization, URL Rewriting, Image Optimization etc.)
- Knowledge of Responsive Design(HTML5, CSS3)
- Knowledge of PHP and MYSQL
- CMS Management(Working with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc.)
The list never ends……
The above list is only a sneak peak for the basic arsenal of the modern job hunter
Now we come to the two clashing sides of the same coin : – Designers who cannot code AND Developers who cannot Design
What’s holding them back ?
Before we dig into the reasons why the designers/developers are not taking a step into unknown waters, let’s check first what are the reasons why some web designers just want to focus on designing and why developers only want to just code .
Why web designer doesn’t want to learn code.
1. They enjoy graphics more than codes.
Some web designers tend to focus on their artwork and illustrations and have more passion on the creative aspect of the website. They love to create stunning web layouts by choosing the right fonts, color, images and icons, but don’t want to deal with the coding aspect to make their graphics alive and real.
2. No time to spend for learning.
Several web designers find it difficult to learn coding while others can’t keep up with a fast pace of development. They think that if they spend time to learn coding, they might be left behind when trending design concepts are being talked about. They believe will not be able to improve their creative skills.
3. They think it’s hard.
Some web designers think that they would suck at it that’s why they became afraid to try. Learning to code is a process just like a flower takes time to bloom.
Why a Web Developer needs to take a look at the design too
1. User experience is a big deal
Building a website nowadays requires more than just coding. Regardless how interactive your website is, website visitors might not have a good experience browsing it if the structure and design look awful. Thus, you lose the site’s quality and visitors.
2. They need to be more than code-generating groan people
With the modern web gradually developing, we are expecting much more out of our digital life- and the guys behind each website. Web developers are typically problem solvers. They most likely prefer to make the web pages work than make it look good and fascinating. But this might not work nowadays.
3. No client wants an awful looking website
Have you tried hiring another developer for a project you are working on?
You went through the process of verifying that developer’s skills before hiring him or her. You informed that developer about all the details you want for the site project, including the design and features. That developer confirmed that he or she can do it on time.When, in the end, the web developer presented the website, the site design still looks awful, though features are there.
A lot of clients have had this kind of experience. That’s why it is important that a web developer must also learn the design process to become more efficient and productive.
Now that we know what problems are faced by web designers and developers , let’s now discuss on why a web designer should learn coding and web developers should learn to design.
Why web designers should learn how to code
1. Flexible roles for each project.
If a designer knows how to code, he can easily change roles with a web developer. Developers can be web designers too and if a web designer knows how to code, he can also work on the coding aspect too. Since the two can switch roles, both are making the process more flexible and efficient.
2. Fast and efficient delivery of projects.
It would make a lot faster to finish a project if a web designer knows how to code it. For instance, when a web designer creates a mock-up in Photoshop, he can easily cut the images and code the markup. The web developer then can focus more on the complex issues.
3. Efficient technical communication.
If a designer knows how to code, he can easily interact with the web developer and talk about codes. In that case, the designer will be able to help the developer with minor bugs and updates on the codes of the site.This will make the team more efficient, saving more time, thus, delivering the projects on time.
4. It’s not a rocket science- it can be learned.
When I started learning how to code, I was thinking that I was not born for it but later, I found it exciting and enjoying. Learning to code is really not easy but it’s also not that hard. Everyone can learn it.
5. The key to the next level.
When you’re learning how to code, you begin to think logically. This would lead you to learn more coding languages and techniques since you already have an experience on how to code. Eventually, you may learn the skills the web developer has.
Why web developers should learn how to design
Being a web developer is great but being a web developer that knows how to design stunning websites, is a lot more fantastic.
The following are the reasons why a web developer should learn how to design.
1. Improve your graphic design skills.
Learning the design process will immerse you to different graphic design tools and design inspiration
2. Improve your web design taste.
If a web developer learns how to design, he or she can easily differentiate a stunning website from a terrible one. It’s more about improving the aesthetic eye, that is, visual skills will become more refined and the web designs skills will naturally conform to your acclimated aesthetics.
3. Competitive web development.
Learning the design process will help the web developer understand the business requirements more. He or she can be edgier because he or she can bring some excellent look and feel apart from the interactivity he or she brings to the table.
4. One man web development.
If a web developer knows how to perform the task of a web designer and web developer, this allows that said web developer to earn more as he or she don’t need to get someone who can design for the project.
Based on my experience, it all started when I got curious on how to code. Being curious made me search and look for tutorials that led me to learning. I love what Walt Disney once said: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” Exactly true!
The power of curiosity makes everything more enjoyable to learn. Start being curious before it’s too late. I encourage developers to learn proper web design process and how this will benefit them.
There are so many advantages in learning coding and designing at the same time. Both of the skills will help you achieve effective web development results. I want to emphasize that talent is not as much of a factor as most people would think. More often, passion is what people confuse as “talent.”
If you truly have an passion in something, you will be motivated to immerse yourself in it and practice it. Likewise, if you are a web developer, you can achieve creativity by learning and practicing it, which will later give you a lot of advantages in your career.