How much code should a UX Practitioner know?



Hi everyone, I’ve been looking for a UX gig and I’m surprised at how much coding skills employers are wanting. Whilst it’s important to have an understanding of how different technologies work - will the design processes differ much between an interface built with .NET, PHP or Node JS etc? I don’t think so!
Have a look at this job description:

I am currently in the market for a UX Designer for a SAP Centric organisation, for a 12 month contract in Western Sydney. The ideal candidate must have the following:

• Strong experience in an SAP centric environment (SAPUI5 and Fiori)
• Demonstrated experience with modern frameworks/utilities such as Angular, React, OpenUI5, RxJS,Redux, HTML5/REST/ Data Protocols.
• Extensive demonstrated experience working with javascript / CSS including support for multiple browsers such as IE, Firefox, Safari etc.
• Proven experience with large and complex IT projects and environments.
• Demonstrated experience with delivery of innovative technology solutions.
• Advanced verbal communication, documentation & graphical presentation skills, with the ability to communicate complex matters in simple terms.
• Experience in working with outsourced services and IT service providers.

What are your thoughts?


That they are looking for a developer. What surprises me a bit is that it’s clearly a large corporate so I would have thought they’d have had a better understanding of the separation of roles.


And I agree with you – you shouldn’t need granular knowledge like that if it was truly a UX designer that they are looking for.


@tim0 I actually don’t think they expect you to code all those technologies, just be familiar with how they work so you know the capability. It does sound like they want some front-end coding work. I think that takes away from UX activities so I stay away from those kinds of jobs. :slight_smile:


Thanks, yeah - and there’s not a lot mentioned about genuine UX activities, research, A/B testing. I emailed the recruiter letting them know they need to rethink what they’re looking for.


I will say, though, that knowing how to code can be a particularly useful skill.

A great example of this is a re-design of our site navigation I’m currently working on. We’re moving from a tabbed navigation with static subnav to a more megamenu style approach. As with any navigation piece, we want to tread lightly, but get as much feedback as possible. To that end, I’ve created a jQuery userscript that redesigns the navigation in our QA environment to our vision. Our hope is that by giving out biggest customers some tangible time with the new navigation in a functional but safe environment will help ease their anxiety and generate some great conversations.

To do this required knowledge of userscripts, JavaScript, jQuery, HTML, and CSS-- all of which I’ve picked up working or studying front end development. These skills don’t always come in handy in the UX world, but it’s very nice when they do.


Sounds cool Doug, thanks for sharing. Yeah, there’s been a few prototypes I’ve created that would have been easier to pull together if I had better knowledge of JS. Ah so much to learn!


Hey don’t get stuck on how much you don’t know, you just have to know the preliminaries of that stuff. I was stuck (afraid to be exact) at the same point while working on a site , just start one thing will link to another and in no time you will be having fun.