Should Designers Learn How to Code? [Spoiler Alert: Yes!]

As a designer, the thought of learning how to code probably rarely crosses your mind – if ever. After all, your job is to create appealing visuals that attract attention.

Well, as accurate as that may be, coding is just another way of designing. It involves different elements that come together like pieces of a puzzle the same way as any tremendous graphic or design.

What’s more, learning how to code can open several doors of opportunities for you.

Take advantage of resources like Coding Bootcamps that provide you with a multitude of learning resources all in one place.

As a designer who knows how to code, you’ll be able to better integrate your designs into different software and tools for various purposes, like setting up landing pages for pay-per-click advertisements.

Interested to find out how learning to code can help you as a designer and what technologies you can learn? 

Let’s get to the reasons first, follow up with some tips for learning, and overview a few leading technologies.

Top Reasons Why Designers Should Learn How to Code

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Whether you’re a graphics or UX/UI designer, you have to work with different departments to create suitable designs for the audience.

After all, if you don’t know or understand the purpose, the chances are that you won’t be able to do justice to the design. So here’s the first reason to learn how to code:

Get a Better Understanding of an Interface

You can better understand how an interface will behave by learning how to code, allowing you to create more impactful designs that require minimal revisions. 

Once you have more relevant technical knowledge of programming language, there’s a higher chance that you’ll be an essential part of product development brainstorming sessions.

You Will Stand Out from the Crowd

Coding skills on a resume can make you a more market-competitive candidate. The additional versatility that learning how to code will bring to your work will make you a valuable asset for any organisation – large or small. 

What’s more, you’ll also be more comfortable using new design tools since you will have additional technical knowledge, which can make the learning curve less steep.

Learning Programming Helps with Problem Solving

You’ll learn to approach problems in many ways that you probably wouldn’t think of before. 

You can use this newfound ability to solve complex and challenging problems when creating complicated designs involving many design elements that all need to come together to create a great visual.

Coding is an excellent skill for your resume but can also help you improve as a professional. But how do you learn how to code?

Tips for Learning How to Code for Designers

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Even if you’re very excited about learning how to code, it’s essential to start small. 

This is because challenging yourself by taking on complex programming tasks right from the get-go will make you feel like coding is not for you, and you’ll ultimately lose motivation.

  • Take on bite-sized pieces of information: Instead of taking up too much all in one go, work your way towards more complex programming concepts so that you enjoy the process thoroughly.
  • Learn to debug your code: Another great way to learn to program is by debugging when you encounter problems instead of giving up altogether. Remember, even the most experienced programmers make mistakes and resort to Google search for the basics at times. So, instead of losing hope, try to identify the root of the problem.
  • Practice as much as possible: Try implementing solutions for even the most minor programming-related problems so that you can get more coding experience. This will also help you learn from your own mistakes and know how to solve similar problems in the future.

Which Programming Languages Should Designers Learn?

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There are several coding technologies designers can look into to improve their skills. Let’s talk about a few of them.

Java

Java is one of the most popular programming languages due to the functionality and versatility it offers. 

Being one of the oldest programming languages, Java has a robust community that’s always available to help with any issues you might face – regardless of how simple or complex they may be.

There are also many online courses – you can learn Java on CodeGym.cc, a learning platform that offers 1200+ practical tasks, like creating minigames and applications, keeping your learning process fun.

Pros

  • Java has a simple syntax and a mild learning curve.
  • Java is platform-independent, which means you can run the same code everywhere.
  • Memory management and garbage collection in Java are automatic.

Cons

  • Coding in the advanced stages of Java can be complex.
  •  The commercial license is paid.

Python

Python is a versatile programming language that you can use for various purposes, including machine learning and data science projects. 

The language itself is very readable and can be used to write code relatively quickly. 

Python is also popular in web development, which means that knowing Python can help you create better interfaces for websites and web applications.

You can start learning Python on platforms like Pluralsight.

Pros

  • Python is versatile and easy to use
  • Python has a strong community of users
  • It comes with extensive libraries for different functions.

Cons

  • Python may present some speed limitations.
  • Executing tasks in parallel – or threading – can be complex in Python.

HTML and CSS

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) are two technologies that go hand in hand and have been used to create visually attractive websites for decades. 

As a designer, having basic knowledge of both can help you improve everything from the layout of a website to the landing page.

By learning HTML and CSS, you’ll know how to place buttons, add menu items, change text and background colours, and a lot more by writing just a few short lines of code.

You can learn both HTML and CSS on the Sololearn platform.

Pros

  • Both HTML and CSS are consistent languages with simple syntax.
  • Both are industry standards.

Cons

  • HTML and CSS might take a while to learn.

Conclusion

Learning how to code can be very rewarding – and we’re not just talking about the monetary rewards. 

By learning how to code as a designer, you will market yourself better and improve communication with the technical teams.

Playing around with coding technology is one of the best ways to improve your skills as a designer – that too without venturing out too far away from your field.

So, are you ready for your first coding task?

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