Learning coding doesn’t just limit you to becoming a web-developer. Increasingly more employers are looking for people with technical skills to complement their existing skillsets. In fact, many experts, such as Tim Brown from IDEO, and Peter Thiel, co-founder of Paypal, have advocated for hiring generalists, rather than specialists; flexibility, adaptability, and increased ability to collaborate and communicate have been cited as reasons. Cross-function teams are now all the rage, so you’ll need people who can fill out their roles.
Coding especially gives you a lot of flexibility, providing many opportunities to branch out. Because coding is akin to another language, understanding it allows you to communicate with others better, even if you aren’t getting hands-on yourself. Simply speaking, it’s a skill that will help you stand out from the crowd in a major way.
So which jobs would allow you to benefit the most from coding? What doors can coding open for you? Here are the top 10 jobs you’ll nail if you learn to code!
1. Digital Marketing
As analytics and data become deeper and more complex, there’s been a push for digital marketers to become more technical. From implementing tracking codes, to building landing pages, to A/B testing, being comfortable with code means you’ll be able to move faster, do more, and annoy your developer team less!
‘Growth hacking’, a blend of creative marketing and clever use of technology is also a growing trend, especially within the startup space. By using data, rapid experimentation and quick iterations, growth hackers can ‘hack’ the growth of a product and scale it quickly. Doing so requires tech know-how, a deep understanding of analytics, and knowledge in how to build solutions quickly. This all comes from having strong foundations in coding.
As a designer, designing websites and digital products are probably some of the most common gigs you’ll get. That’s why it’s extremely important to at least be able to read code and understand how it all fits together.
A lot of graphical design software will now allow you to export your designs into code, which allows you to just send that code off to your developers. However, it’s a lot smoother sailing if understand the code that your software spits.
Hear how learning code made the life of one of Sydney’s top designers much easier
3. UX/UI Designers
UX/UI designers almost work exclusively with digital products. Similarly to graphics designers, you’ll be able to work a lot faster if you understand the products you work with. As a UX/UI designer, you’ll always work closely with developers, as well as the product management team, so knowing how to communicate with them makes for a happier, more efficient team.
4. Data Scientist
As big data continues to grow as a field, so does the need for skilled data scientists, making it one of the most lucrative fields to be in right now.
While formally trained data scientists usually do have some kind of training in programming, having a deep understanding of coding in a number of languages is extremely advantageous. As part of your job, you’ll need to write scripts that sort the data into outputs that humans can understand and action, and create batch processes that run automatically to compile huge amounts of information on a regular basis.
Even if you aren’t getting technical yourself, you’ll likely need to interact with data engineers on a frequent basis, so understanding what the heck they’re talking about would help!
Don’t forget, coding isn’t just a skill - it’s also a logical mindset. Because what you do is so deeply rooted in computers, you should to think like a computer in order to dig deep.
5. Project Manager
Common across all industries and levels, project managers often get a bad rep for not understanding the rest of what their teams actually do. This means timelines and budgets often get badly blown out because of missed expectations.
Understanding team members roles allow you to be more effective as a manager. You’ll understand how to break the project down into achievable goals, and set good timelines and budgets for each part. You’ll also function as a translator, translating expectations from upper management into tangible goals and actions, and technical mumbo-jumbo into something upper management can understand.
6. Product Manager
Product managers help build products, so like project managers, while you don’t need to understand the intricacies of the codebase behind it all, you should understand what you’re building.
Helping your team develop efficiently is your highest priority, so understanding good architecture, and spotting bad engineers from good engineers make up significant parts of your job. If you’re in a more technical role, part of your job might also include writing technical documentation, which is made far easier if you understand what you’re writing about!
Being a writer encompasses a wide range of activities, from content marketing to forming technical documentation. For all activities, understanding how to code can be useful for a variety of reasons.
For example, understanding HTML can help you understand how to style your writing better with online editors, such as with blogging and email platforms. It also helps if you understand how computers read your writing, which can make a difference when it comes to optimising your posts for SEO.
And of course, especially if you’re for technical people or about technical topics, it helps if you have good foundations so you can understand the topic at hand.
Entrepreneurs have it tough, needing to juggle many hats at the same time. As websites form the cornerstones of many modern day businesses, you’ll need to build one up from scratch, and afterwards, consistently change and improve it.
Every entrepreneur has their own website horror stories, either from trying to build one themselves, trying to change something on it, or trying to deal with someone hired to work on it. That’s why it’s incredibly important for entrepreneurs to become familiar with code.
Because of the pace new companies move at, you’ll always be needing to make changes to your website. It’s far easier if you can make at least basic changes to your website without needing the help of a technician.
When you do need to hire someone, again, the ability to communicate and break down the big picture into attainable goals will go a long way. It also helps if you can tell the difference between bad developers and good developers - it’ll prevent a bad developer from taking you on a ride.
Bloggers are very similar to entrepreneurs - many will have experience their fair share of website related technical issues.
The plethora of out-of-the-box solutions means many bloggers don’t need to think about building a blog from scratch. Everything from Medium, to Wordpress, to Squarespace means you can be broadcasting to the world within a few clicks. However, that means bloggers don’t start having problems until they start to outgrow their first website.
From there, hiring the right developer, or understanding how to not break your Wordpress site after you’ve installed your 15th plug-in becomes very important. The good news is this all becomes easier if you understand how code works.
Read our full article on why bloggers, like The Blonde Abroad, learnt coding from us!
In the future, freelancers will form the life-blood of the workforce. It’s predicted by 2020, 50%+ of America’s total workforce will be independent workers.
As a freelancer, you’ll be in the same boat as bloggers and entrepreneurs - often having to rely on developers to make changes to your website. Additionally, depending on the field you’re in, you might have to deal with your client’s developers from time-to-time (or maybe your clients are developers!). Understanding code will make you a far more versatile and adaptable freelancer,
And who knows? If you get good at it, you could add it to your services too!
These are 10 jobs you’ll nail if you learn coding. In what industries have you encountered jobs where you needed to learn how to code? Were any of them a surprise? Let us know!
Written by: Josh Li
Digital Marketer at Institute of Code