Ben, thanks for reading my article, and I completely agree with you.
I feel the same way, which is why I wrote this post. I see so many designers focusing on abstraction but unable to deliver a final product because they don’t have the practical skills.
I think a balance is necessary like you suggested. Before designers can begin to do things like direct strategy and product design, they need a solid foundation in fundamental design theory.
I see so many designers skipping that stuff, and trying to run user studies, create large design systems, etc, before they are ready. (And buying into an idea of what a designer lifestyle should be like, not achieving it, and getting frustrated.)
So while I picked on people for using sticky notes, I hope it didn’t seem like I think it’s wrong to do that kind of work. It’s just that designers can’t only do that! At least, most of us can’t.
Thanks for your thoughtful response and attention!