To code or not to code

Coding skills are less and less important for anyone who wants to build web pages. How far will this go? Will we come into future where knowing HTML and CSS will be worthless and where everything on the web will be coded by software and robots?

This all started long time ago with WYSIWYG editors like Adobe Dreamweaver and other software for web development and web design. The purpose was to allow people to focus more on visual side of web design and less on coding. With this intention, the first pioneers created software that could handle the coding part and simply while rendering the final markup. Since then, important question appeared. Is software capable to write readable and correct code? This was on of possible dangers. When all coding was left to software, no one was checking correctness of the code. What’s worse, even if code was complete unreadable mess, page could still look good so user had no idea that something wrong is happening on the other side.

Development of these tools is still in progress as the debate between industry professionals. As usual, there are two camps. One which votes for this way of working and one that dismiss it. Maybe three – one didn’t pick any side. After years, the arguments and important points of their discussion are same – correctness and readability of the code. This debate took place mostly on the background without causing any stronger hype. Until now. New tools like Macaw and Adobe Muse CC came on the scene and voices got louder. These tools added some oil to dying fire and caused blaze. Yep, dozing bear was awakened.

Who is target audience for this stuff anyway? While it might look like that, these tools are not for people without any experiences in web industry as default. Paradoxically, the are for people who are talking about it and fighting for or against it—web designer and developers. These people are the main audience. It’s meant to make their job easier and help to speedup their workflow and working processes. With better technologies, these tools have better engines for writing code so it might be possible that with progress, they will become better than average programmers. If this happen, will it be reason to let the code to computers? Who knows.

For a long time, there was a question if designers should have coding skills. With these skills, will the question be still relevant or will it become more important? Only future can tell if the tools like Macaw and Muse and other tools in development will be the next evolution for web industry or if they will just fade away.

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