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Sloan's Inbox: Considering a career change from coding to graphic design, any advice?

Hey friends! Sloan, DEV Moderator and resident mascot, back with another question submitted by a DEV community member. πŸ¦₯

For those unfamiliar with the series, this is another installment of Sloan's Inbox. You all send in your questions, I ask them on your behalf anonymously, and the community leaves comments to offer advice. Whether it's career development, office politics, industry trends, or improving technical skills, we cover all sorts of topics here. If you want to send in a question or talking point to be shared anonymously via Sloan, that'd be great; just scroll down to the bottom of the post for details on how.

Let's see what we have for this week...

Today's question is:

I've been coding for a good while now and am feeling ready for a change. I'm interested in graphic design and am curious if anybody else has made a similar move before? Any advice on how to approach this change, market myself, and anything else that comes to mind would be very much appreciated. πŸ˜€

Share your thoughts and let's help a fellow DEV member out! Remember to keep kind and stay classy. πŸ’š

Want to submit a question for discussion or ask for advice?Β Visit Sloan's Inbox! You can choose to remain anonymous.

Top comments (5)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Good luck!

My advice would be to use every bit of your software experience as a benefit to your new career, it will pay off big time. You don't have to feel like you're leaving old skills behind. Your new work will absolutely benefit from your existing experience.

And if you ever decide to switch back to development, awesome now you have all this new graphic design experience!

theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring

While I'm firmly on the engineering side of things, I have built skills in design over the years to make me more versatile with contracting gigs.

Hypothetically, if I wanted to switch fully into design today, here's how I would likely approach it to maximize my overall experience:

  • Focus on UI/UX design over general graphic design
  • Become very familiar with the feature in design tools which exports designs as code to enable me to either hand off my design work, or build on-top of the designs (ex: add JavaScript functionality to drive interactivity)
thatcomputerguy profile image
Griff Polk

Hey! I literally JUST made this move and it is great. Just go out there, market yourself as the creator of what you made or market off of the same brand that youve been for software. Just keep a brand.

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

I ran into someone on DEV the other day who was making the opposite move... going from UI/UX designer to UX engineer. If I can find their post, I'll come back and drop it in here. Thinking it might be helpful to hear things from their perspective β€” the challenges they're facing coming from the other way.

jodoesgit profile image

You probably already have Adobe/Figma down - so just hop on over to a bootcamp and get your front-end on.