When I was completing my university degree I had the opportunity to work as a marketing coordinator for one of the major Canadian financial institutions. Part of my role was to make internet and intranet updates: I would create the content and coordinate what needed to be pushed online. I would then communicate with the IT team as they would be the ones to implement the changes.
At this point in time I knew nothing about web development but I couldn’t get over how much easier things would be if I knew how to make basic content changes myself. This would allow the truly talented technical minds to be free to complete much more complex tasks, enhancing the efficiency of our organization. This was my first exposure to the benefits of understanding technology and how to communicate with all stakeholders.
My interest in learning to code grew as I saw how ineffective the relationships were being managed from both sides—business and technology. I would sit in board meetings where the business team would be on one side and the tech team on the other. It was like two completely different worlds, no one knew how to communicate effectively. The business development side would openly complain that the digital changes were taking too long and the tech side would insist that they had no idea what they were talking about. Both were right.
Everything is being produced digitally. This is the world we live in. The way we consume entertainment, the way we interact, the way that we advertise, even the way that we bank. Those that are able to create digitally are viewed as magicians, their skills are truly in demand and valuable in any field. However, you don’t have to be a web developer to be a part of this shift; it isn’t as mystical as it appears to be. Learning to code is for anyone and everyone, even if you aren’t an actual “coder” yourself.
Communication is fundamental to the success of every business. An inability to communicate clearly and effectively can create problems that can cripple a team’s ability to function effectively. If you can comprehend and communicate what is going on technically then, not only will you add more value to your organization, you will remain relevant as an individual. The tension in board meetings will be alleviated, making room for more productivity. The business side will have a better understanding of what is going on, how long things should take, and can therefore authentically manage projects. The tech side will feel more valued and respected because the business side has taken the time to understand what they do and how they do it.
If we all had a better understanding of how technology works I’m positive things would get done much faster.