There’s a story about some brilliant design that made carrots more accessible to everyone, and the man who made it happen:
Sam [Farber], a delightful person to work with. He understood the business, but what was important was, he understood design. If he could have been a designer himself he would have been, but he had none of the skills necessary.Mark Wilson
Understanding design is not coupled to having the skills of design, to being able to do it yourself! And that understanding can combine with other areas — such as business, where Sam has both the understanding and the skills — to make a person really effective.
In software too! A person can understand software development without having coding skills. These people are valuable, when they connect that understanding of software with the business.
And a person can have coding skills without understanding software development. We all started somewhere.
If you move from day-to-day coding into management, architecture, or any business role, you use your understanding of software development. And you can update and deepen that understanding without maintaining your hard-core coding chops.
This is where conference sessions and keynotes shine: at deepening our understanding of software development. We develop our skills at work, in play, or in workshops.
Value this understanding, in yourself and others. And try to gain understanding of other parts of the world, such as design and business, even if you don’t have the skills. It’s the combination that gives us power.