Ever feel like you’re beating a dead horse? (By the way, who came up with that saying?? It’s horrible! Don’t ever beat any horse, alive or otherwise!)
I’ve read about 92,763 articles for and against UX pros learning to code over the past several years.
1. You’re a double threat and it opens job opportunities.
2. Companies don’t even understand what UX pros do half the time, they expect you to code even though it’s not a normal thing for a UX pro to do.
3. You will understand what your dev team is talking about when they start discussing API calls and jquery plugins and magical java tricks during meetings.
1. People will start expecting you to do 2 jobs. “Hey look, this person does BOTH things! We can just hire 1 person! Cha-ching!” Which = less time to devote to user research.
2. You’ll get roped into coding more than you expect, which is great if you really enjoy it, and not if you don’t.
3. The already insane amount of free time you spend reading tech blogs will multiply exponentially when you get into sites like github, and suddenly you’ll want to learn every language ever created. Or, you won’t but your employer will expect you to.
So, what’s the answer to the age old question, “As a UX pro should I learn to code?”
It’s simple, really. Just ask yourself this one easy question:
“Is learning to code something I feel passionate about?”
If the answer is “YES!!!!,” then you should absolutely learn to code!
If the answer is “Ummm… not really,” then you should NOT learn to code.
Just about every UX pro I’ve met is extremely passionate about his or her work. They love their jobs and it shows.
If learning to code will add to your daily excitement and passion then do it!
If you have no interest in it at all, and you’re only considering it because you’re feeling pressured by bloggers who tell you it’s something you should do because they said so, then bag it and continue focusing all of your energy and passion on what you love!
Keep UXing it up, loud and proud!