Coding Viral Video

I would imagine that anyone likely to stumble on this post has already seen’s fantastic evangelical video, but I’m capturing it here for posterity.  I had several reactions, one of which was the old nagging sensation that I really *should* take a basic programming course…and yet, I don’t know that it’s a good idea for User Experience designers to spend too much time learning to code.

This line of thought reminded me of Jared Spool’s closing plenary at the 2011 IA Summit “The Most Valuable UX Person in the World,” the gist of which was that UX professionals who can code will be the most desirable hires/employees and eventually the norm. As with all his talks, it was interesting, engaging, humorous–well worth hearing, but I’m ambivalent about how much cross-over is realistic or even desirable between disciplines. The primary reason I feel this way is that it’s already extremely difficult to achieve a solid mastery of the full suite of skills across the broad realm of user experience design–I’ve never encountered a fellow professional who is equally skilled in information architecture, interaction design and usability–yet many, if not most, jobs for user experience designers require at least rudimentary skills in each of these areas. Adding an additional expectation or requirement for coding skills makes me worried that user experience designers will be expected to be jack of all trades, but master of none–in the long run, I’m not sure that’s the best thing for our profession.


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