A product team works best when engineers and designers not only show empathy towards their customer, but each other. This has to be driven by the culture of your team.
Design optimizes for best possible experience for the user. And that includes even the most subtle changes that make a product feel “just right”. Engineering makes that a reality by ensuring that experience is flawless under all scenarios. Sometimes, that means having to make tough decisions of implementation tradeoffs.
I couldn't say it better myself. In fact, we've built our company around creating a culture of design collaboration. Whether that culture is in our own office or in the office of our clients.
We've found that a good company culture with lesser talent will regularly produce better designs than a bad company culture with a rockstar designer.