Tom Green, co-author of Building Web Sites with Macromedia Studio MX from New Riders Press, had some thoughtful comments on this topic, which I’m quoting with his permission.
“The question I have always grappled with is: Am I training designers or bit heads? Around [my] college this has resulted in an awareness of the two sides of the web fence that I call the ‘geeks and the freaks’.”
Tom said, “Educators that actually hang out in the industry have seen the job become very complex, very fast. As I have been hammering in the book, Building Web Sites with Macromedia Studio MX, the business, almost overnight it seems, moved from the one person shop to multi-discipline teams. This means there is room for designers and there is room for the coders. The astute educator will recognize neither side can even hope to master the other’s knowledge base. In order to accommodate this I, for example, make it very clear to my students we aren’t going to turn them into code jockeys. What we are going to do, though, is make them aware of how the code works in order to help them actually work and communicate, knowledgeably, with a code jockey. . . In fact we are starting to pair up the coders and the geeks at my college.”