Coding and design skills are more in demand today than ever before, but both learning and executing web design can be daunting for beginners, novices, and professionals alike. Some of the most common questions we hear include: what is the best framework? How is mobile design different from desktop design? Which tools and technologies should I master first?
Our academic director Jeremy Osborn broke it down during our most recent live event, Web Design is Hard: The State of Learning to Design and Code, alongside web design legends Jeffrey Zeldman and Aaron Gustafson. The hour-long discussion touched on a wide variety of topics, including diversity in the field and the link between graphic and web design.
Here are 3 key takeaways from the discussion:
- The tools and software you use should depend on your goals and area of work, but there are fundamentals that everyone should know. For example, it is important to have an understanding of version control, which is a system (i.e. Git) that records all changes made to your files so that you can easily reference your revisions after the fact.
- Somewhat surprisingly, both panelists agreed that while technical skills are vital, they may not be the most important quality that employers look for when hiring a front-end developer. Most are on the hunt for curiosity and enthusiasm — so if you’re reading this, you’re already ahead of the pack.
- Go beyond the tools and take up an interest in culture. Listen to music, read books, and watch films. Take note of how they subtly and strategically communicate their message and apply this to your work. After all, as Lorraine Wild has said, you have to be interested in culture to design for it.
Watch the whole conversation here.
Thanks to Milo Goodman for his contribution to this story.