It’s 2014 and whether you’re a taxi driver, real estate agent, or marketer, your future and career are inextricably linked to technology.
Technology is quickly affecting job markets outside of development. Have you been updating your skills and equipping yourself with the tools to stay viable in today’s job market?
Coding is the literacy of the future. There is a perception that to know your way around code, you have to have a technical background. This is not always true. Even basic concepts can complement more traditional skill sets. Imagine yourself a marketer, content manager or online contributor needing to change something on a web page, and being able to make this change yourself.
I myself am a marketing professional in an industry dominated by engineers, I know first-hand the importance of understanding the basics of code. Knowing the fundamentals allows me to work more productively with technical teams, and increases my ability to get things done without relying on others.
The benefits go far beyond coding itself. The concept of how software works makes it easier to dive into new programs and quickly feel at home, reducing learning curves. Today, every minor inconvenience has a bevy of software tools promising to make things easier; giving a competitive advantage to those who can quickly evaluate, learn, and integrate new tools into your company’s workflow.
Learning to code has also fundamentally made me a better marketer. Coding strengthens analytical thinking and troubleshooting, allowing marketers to systemize aspects of their daily tasks and long term strategies. The foundations behind computer science provide a clearly defined and scientific approach to solving problems and working with processes. This systematic thinking can allow you to map out user experiences, creating a customer conversion funnel and running optimization experiments, all to improve your products and customer experiences.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not suggesting everyone needs to (or can!) become a computer programmer. But everyone could benefit from a second perspective to approaching problems as well as an insight to how most software products work. Recognizing the fundamentals increases your hireability, giving you an edge up from the masses of monotonous resumes.
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At Axiom Zen we use tools such as Google Analytics for tracking interactions with our material, GitHub for internal collaboration and project management, and Intercom to connect with our users as well as monitor their use of our products. Without a foundation in coding, it would have taken me much longer to adopt these tools.These tools have become invaluable to me as not just as a marketer but as a functioning member of a technical team.
So where do you get started? There are many routes you can take to get going—from books, articles, courses or seminars to events such as the free HTML500 where 500 non-coders learn how to create a basic webpage. I also advise grabbing anyone you know with a technical background and start picking their brain. The choices can be overwhelming so a great first step I recommend is enrolling in Codecademy, where you can learn simple coding interactively, for free.
Now step outside your comfort zone, add a little change and equip yourself with some basic technical skills!