It’s the itch that you can’t quite scratch.
You’re in the office at least 40 hours per week, but find yourself spending at least half that time dreaming of your next business idea that you’re dying to launch. The problem is, coding skills are needed to take that app, program or website from a dream to a reality.
Don’t know how to code? Then you’ll need to track down a co-founder who does, or hire a developer who you can pay to create your product. Unfortunately, that’s not always the easiest to do and (unless they’re feeling extremely generous) most developers don’t come cheap.
Being able to pour your blood, sweat and tears into a product is one of the more obvious reasons it pays to know how to code.But even if you aren’t planning to develop your own product, there are a number of reasons coding skills can help you along the path of how to be an entrepreneur.
1. Speak the same language as your developers
Imagine you were put into an air traffic control tower and told you had to relay instructions to safely direct incoming aircraft. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that for most of you that would be a pretty scary situation. Even though you would know where you wanted each flight to land, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to decipher and speak the same language required to actually make it happen. As an entrepreneur, speaking the same language as your developers will make it a lot easier to navigate the direction your product is headed.
2. Avoid being left behind
It’s important for at least one founding partner of a start-up to understand the ins and outs of both the business, and the technology so you can communicate what’s under the hood to investors, partners and media. It’s also worth mentioning that investors, particularly, are increasingly taking a liking to founders who have coding know-how. From Entreprenuer.com:
Programming skills were high on the wish list of startup entrepreneurs at the recent SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas. One reason: Investors seem to take a liking to those in-the-coding-know. During the Q & A portion of a panel called “Investor Spotting,” I witnessed one investor interrupt an entrepreneur who was trying to pitch his startup idea. “Do you code?” he asked. Big pause. “No,” the entrepreneur said, dejectedly. “I wish.”
3. Hire the best talent
Every entrepreneur wants to hire the very best developers. After all, it’s developers that will be creating your company’s bread and butter. In his book, Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering, Robert Glass cites research that states: The best programmers are up to 28 times better than the worst programmers. If you have coding experience, it will be easier to ask the right questions, evaluate technical acumen, and ultimately pick a really great developer instead of a really bad one.
4. Develop prototypes
As we mentioned previously, it’s often the lack of technical know-how that stands between an idea and actually making it happen. At Coding Dojo, we frequently encounter students enrolled in our course who have a novel idea but not enough coding skills to get the idea off the ground. Once they do, they go on to launch successful start-ups, like AJ Agrewal, founder of Alumnify. But even if you don’t plan on being the lead developer for your product, having a baseline of coding skills can help you build prototypes so you can test your product concept before investing a lot of time and money on its development.
5. Sharpen your ability to solve problems
Steve Jobs once said, “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.” Through coding, you learn how to break down problems and think through how things fit together. Check out this inspiration video, which does a great job laying out why coding is the next “super power” of the future.
Whether you’re itching to know how to be an entrepreneur or you already are one, there are more options than ever before to learn how to code. For in as little as 12 weeks you can become a full-stack developer and even get your first project off the ground!