Why I Learned Web Dev (and Why ALL Designers Should!)

Don’t get me wrong, I love design, and it’ll always be my main priority. But I’ve always had an interest in development too…

Here are a few reasons why I got into development; and why you should consider doing so too!

1. Dev helps me rest my design brain.

At the risk of sounding entitled…being creative is exhausting.

Constantly being in creative thinking mode is not ideal. Eventually, your brain gets worn out and the good ideas begin to disappear.

Focusing on some non-design tasks helps give my creative juices time to reset and therefore makes my design work stronger.

2. Dev gives me a final answer.

Design is very subjective, and sometimes it is hard to feel a sense of completion.

With development, a problem is either solved or it isn’t. The website functions properly or it doesn’t. There is no middle ground. So in a lot of ways, dev is more mentally satisfying.

With design, there is a lot of guesswork and predictions about human behavior. There is rarely ever a concrete, universally-accepted solution.

3. Dev forces me to learn new things.

Technology is always evolving, and we are forced to keep up.

If a client requests a specific feature for their website, it’s my job to figure out how to make it happen. Which is equal parts terrifying and exciting.

In design, we’re taught the basic principles of what makes a design “good”, and then we don’t really think about it again. Sometimes, we use these principles as a crutch, rather than boundaries that can be pushed.

4. Dev provides me with extra income.

Development is a highly sought after skill, especially as the world goes digital.

Amidst the pandemic, everyone’s businesses and entire lives have gone online. This has created an even larger demand for development work, and has been one of the main reasons I’ve been able to keep afloat.

It’s also a great opportunity to bring in some recurring income with things like hosting, email management, maintenance, updates, etc. [more on that later]

5. It helps me bridge the gap between design & dev.

By knowing what developers need and how the process works, I can communicate with them more effectively.

I can prepare my design files in a way that makes sense to a developer, saves them time, and keeps them from having to make design decisions.

It also helps me to know how to ask for specific features or functionality.

This post isn’t meant to make anyone want to become a developer overnight, or inspire anyone to learn in-depth programming skills.

This is about gaining surface-level knowledge so that you can create stronger design work, communicate more efficiently, and make more money. 🤑

Thanks for reading! :)

—Rach

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