Should we learn to code?
There will always be a role for engineers focused on the massive challenges required to build autonomous transportation, virtual reality and any other ambitious future technology. Given the significant innovation in design tools and software development infrastructure, coding is going to look dramatically different in the future. In fact, the line between design and development may no longer exist, resulting in fundamental changes to the skill set and teams required to bring a product to market.
Design and development are converging
While building new products has never been easier, creating products that users love remains a massive challenge. It requires a deep understanding of your intended users and a vision for how to deliver a delightful experience to solve their needs. It also requires a workflow that allows product teams to rapidly test, learn and iterate the product experience, the business model and the value proposition.
Iterative product design has become mainstream
Key tenets of the Lean Startup — especially the bias toward getting minimum viable products (MVPs) to market quickly, then learning from real customer feedback — have become widely accepted as a better way to build companies and products. A new ecosystem of tools has emerged to support these new ways of working, enabling product design teams to work collaboratively and more efficiently. The net result: It has become exponentially faster to turn ideas into immersive prototypes that can be experienced, tested and validated before ever coding a product.
The demand for Creative Technologists will increase
This convergence of process, skill sets and tools will lead to several notable changes in
- Team composition will change. It will no longer be necessary to have both designers and front-end developers within a team, allowing teams to run much leaner.
- Real-time iteration will become the norm. Teams will be able to operate in a state of continuous design improvement — prototyping, testing, learning and rolling out new features faster than ever before.
- Business results will improve. Product teams will be on the front lines of driving business results, able to act quickly to drive meaningful contributions to the bottom line by capitalizing on new opportunities and addressing issues before they become widespread.
So, should we learn to code?
Those with an interest in building and delivering better experiences for consumers and businesses should double down on design and business simultaneously developing key software development expertise.
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