Knowing how to understand even basic code can seem foreign and confusing to someone who has never approached it before. Programming as a whole can be intimidating to approach because it’s vast and varies greatly from industry to industry. As we move forward, the need for people who can code continues to increase in demand. But what makes it such a critical part of business?
Gone are the days of paper and pen. Even if you’re a small business and you prefer more traditional approaches to some aspects, it’s impossible to avoid doing something online. But for the most part, almost every technical aspect of business is now done online or via technology, and more specifically, through different kinds of software.
Of course, this means that most businesses need to have a developer at some point. But how does coding fit into this picture outside of requiring developers?
Knowing The What’s and The Why’s
Even if your business doesn’t have any developers permanently employed, knowing how to communicate what you need from developers is incredibly important. While you don’t need to know how to code, knowing how the moving parts of development works will greatly impact your ability to ask for what you want. Additionally, being able to have a solid understanding of what is going on on the development side of your business will make the communication between yourself and your team's way more fluid.
In the current climate, it’s nearly impossible to have an effective business without an online presence, and the demand for a solid online presence is only likely to increase. Understanding the behind-the-scenes will not only aid in communication within large companies but allow smaller businesses to be able to take advantage of the online market effectively. Even basic coding courses can allow you to work effectively with low-code platforms to be able to create the necessary pieces for your business.
Small things like being able to update your own website as needed without having to outsource or rely on external help will impact the efficiency of your business, as well as frankly make you appear way more professional.
Realistic Timelines and Goals
Coming up with ideas for your business and goals for your company's growth is an essential part of running a good business. However, often there can be a strong disconnect between what someone wants done and how to get it done. This issue is usually seen by looking at projected timelines. Perhaps you have a new idea for your business that you want to be able to get out by the end of summer, and you approach the developers with that information. The developers then respond telling you that with the current workload, that deadline is unrealistic.
Being able to have a sense of what goes into developing something will allow you to create more realistic timelines, and allow you to better communicate with your developers to create a timeline that works for both them and the business. There are a lot of industries that are known for putting a lot of pressure on their developers to meet set deadlines that sometimes are just not possible.
If you’re familiar with the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, you are aware of the type of issues that development timelines can create. Cyberpunk was delayed a total of three times with the launch initially anticipated in April of 2020 and was eventually released on December 10th, 2020. While developmental delays are nothing new in the gaming industry, the reason this specific game caught so much attention for its delays was that the game was being advertised and hyped way before it was ready to do so. Some developers even came forward to explain what they believed went wrong. The greater the people in charge’s ability to understand what goes into developing something, the greater the chance of your timelines being more accurate for the company as a whole.
Cyberpunk was unfortunately released with a lot of issues that they are still fixing today. In addition, they were forced to drop features that had previously been heavily advertised, upsetting a lot of people who had pre-ordered the game. While this is a debated topic in the gaming industry and there is a lot of speculation around what went wrong, I chose to use this example because it showcases the importance of good communication and understanding of the moving parts of the business in all aspects.
Problem Solving Skills
Knowing how to solve problems effectively is an important skill and one that isn’t as common as people might think. While we have an entire blog coming up about how to think like a programmer, for now, know that coding teaches you how to problem-solve effectively. Once you get past learning the language, an incredibly large volume of writing code is just solving the how and the why. You need to figure out how to make something work despite not having any pieces, or perhaps only broken pieces.
Taking some basic coding courses can help sharpen your brain into learning to think in different ways when looking at a problem. It’ll train you to break things down and view things from different perspectives. Considering a lot of businesses exist to help people overcome a problem or fill in a need, it’s easy to understand why business and problem solving go hand in hand.
Coding is also a much more creative field than people think. Often you’re presented with an idea, but how you get from point a to point b is entirely up to you. You can give a large group of developers the exact same problem, and most of them would solve it differently from one another. Learning to approach things in a creative way to come up with solutions is what developers succeed at.
Patience and Resilience
If you’re going to code, you’re going to need patience, and to be very comfortable with being stuck. Even the most senior developers get stuck on problems for days on end, completely unsure of how to proceed. This was personally one of the most difficult things I had to learn to adjust to when I began to code. Learning how to separate being stuck and being “bad at something”, is a difficult skill to master. Coding can have a way of making you feel incredibly dumb.
But the more you do it, the more you realise that you learn a lot in those moments you feel like you know nothing. And beyond the actual code, you learn how to be patient and push through those moments. This is a skill that will help anyone in any aspect of their life, but in the ever-changing world of business, it can be invaluable.
Regardless of what business or industry you belong to, knowing even basic coding skills can make you that much more valuable. The online world is only growing as time goes on and with it the need for developers.