Jonas Downey, of 37signals argues that learning Rails has made him a better designer.
An interface isn’t just a series of static screens pasted together. It’s a flow, with inputs and outputs. You can’t truly evaluate an interface until you can use it, and you can’t use it until you build it. Anything less than the real thing is a fuzzy approximation.
It’s fine to bring in a programmer when you’re confident that your idea is worth building, but what if you’re not so sure? Now you’ve used someone else’s time and mental energy to make something that might hit the dumpster. That stinks.
Funnily enough, I recently started the Ruby course on Codecademy. I’ll let you know how it goes.