Great piece. You touch on one of the things I’ve been thinking about a lot in the tendency of developers to rely on libraries and dependencies rather than writing custom code. While that’s true I think designers, myself included, have the opposite tendency. We often want to solve solved problems. There are quite a few really solid interaction patterns we don’t need to re-invent. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up for relying on bootstrap or foundation or whatever to get those patterns into our products.
The unique use cases that call for both design and technical innovation are where I’m finding the ability to write (front-end) code is really valuable. I can explore the boundaries of a problem, prototype it and user test it in tandem. Producing a design artifact and passing that to a developer is about 100 times less efficient.