It is absolutely certain that having portfolios is crucial while applying for jobs as a designer or any kind, or with any experience. While making a portfolio is tricky in itself, designers tend it make it harder by adding unnecessary complexity to it.
Designing your portfolio and building your portfolio are two different things.
While the idea of a designer knows how to write (or, understand) code is a huge plus, more than often, using it on the portfolio is a mistake especially when those skills are not very sharp. This limits designers and they end
As a hiring manager, I care about your case studies more than your ability to write code. If I was looking explicitly for a programmer, I will hire a programmer instead.
This extends to the factor that a lot of our design ideas go through an extremely sloppy implementation due to lack of programming knowledge or the terrible user experience of building a portfolio.
This doesn't mean we, as designers should stop writing code, but using our ability to code several side projects and putting them in a very well designed portfolio adds a ton of weight to the portfolios.
Write code where absolutely needed.
As an example, I use WordPress as a tool that gives my portfolio a Content Management System it needs and allows me to focus on areas that help me be a better designer. I don't vouch for WordPress, there are plenty of such tools out there, but WordPress being open source and stable, is high up on my preference list. Having a tool like this solves obvious and redundant problems like templates, structure, tags, categories and to an extent even SEO and helps me focus on animations, typography and design which gives the person a better experience when he visits my website. If I had built my portfolio ground up, I might not address these issues, either due to lack of knowledge or due to not setting correct priorities. Either way, my case studies won't get as much attention as they should have. Hence, a tool like this gives me the kind of head-start I need and gives me more time to focus and refine my case studies instead of implementing already implemented features.
Image Courtesy: Carl Heyerdahl