“Should designers code” is too nebulous to be debated.
What do we mean by code? Learn to code? Do the front-end coding? Do all the coding (at which they aren’t a designer, they’re half a startup.)
Architects learn to pour concrete, then never touch the stuff again. Painter’s learn to stretch canvas, then avoid it. Every bit of code I learned made me smarter as a designer and as a teammate.
But every minute I spent coding at work was time I didn’t have to go deep on design, and was an expensive task-switch. Sometimes I got smarter about how the , but mostly I didn’t have as much time to figure out a suitable or innovative solution.
Designer should learn their materials, be it css or algorithms. They should code as much as the team size & needs requires.
More importantly, bosses should know whatever savings they are getting by hiring one person who can design and code, they are losing in quality & speed of work.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong, but so many tradeoffs.