This one-sided demand for empathy is not benign. When regarded seriously, it encourages unsavory behavior. It’s not a coincidence that the most technical side of our industry has a problem with misogyny. It’s not a coincidence that the selfish and destructive political doctrine of libertarianism is respected by so many developers. These and other social aberrations stem from the same inability to empathize with others.
What is relevant, what does differentiate the job roles, is responsibility. The developer is responsible for distinctly different things than the designer is. The coder is responsible for the safety, security, efficiency, and success of the program. The designer is responsible for the experience, the happiness, the satisfaction, and success of the person who uses the program. Both of their responsibilities are significant and important, but they are not at all the same. The developer is responsible for the technology while the designer is responsible for the user. Both have to be made happy for the business to succeed.