There’s a rising trend these days among entrepreneurs. Many are signing up for coding bootcamps to learn to code.
I work at a coding school, and while a fair percentage of the students who walk through our doors are actually interested in coding, about 64% of them enrolled in our coding bootcamps because they want to build startups, and someone, somewhere along the way told them that learning how to code would help them do it.
Well, building a startup is kind of like programming:
You get an idea, implement it, and test things out.
If problems crop up, you troubleshoot, troubleshoot, troubleshoot.
You tweak things, make necessary changes, and constantly experiment and improve on existing systems.
But beyond that, when you’re running a startup or small business (tech-related or not), when you learn to code you’re empowered to build a better business. Here are 5 powerful reasons why:
1. Save money
Many businesses these days find it easy to hire web developers or software engineers online. However, this is often a time-consuming and costly process. And sometimes you may not even get the results you paid for.
If you know how to code, you could do things yourself.
Need an app built? Build it.
Want a website designed? Create it.
With coding skills, you could even develop apps or programs to streamline work processes or increase efficiency and productivity at the office. The upside is that you wouldn’t need to purchase third-party programs or hire people to do it for you.
2. Boost collaboration with your tech team
You may already have a tech team on hand, which is great. But if you’re not the tech-savvy type, you may find it difficult to communicate with your developers and engineers.
A founder who can learn to code and understand the coding process will help foster clearer, concise communication between tech and non-tech teams. This empowers developers to work on their deliverables better and faster, without costly confusion.
Consequently, this will also lead to improved morale, mutual respect between development and management, and improvements in overall productivity.
3. Learn to think like a coder
Coders are trained to look at problems differently. They have a deep-seated instinct to get creative, improve on what already exists, and innovate, innovate, innovate.
Besides the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, you’ll be able to:
Better identify upcoming trends in the marketplace (or you’ll know how to build apps to help you do it)
Come up with ideas to build/use tech to make your vision for your company a reality
Build a network of like-minded people who can help you and your business to grow exponentially
By learning to code, you’ll be able to open doors to new opportunities for your business; which may not have been available to you before.
4. Hire better tech talent
Every startup wants to hire and build the best team in the world. But if you’re not tech-savvy, you’ll have some trouble with tech hires.
If you don’t understand the difference between mediocre and good tech talent, you will set your business up for some rather costly errors in the future.
However, if you know how to code, you’ll have a better idea of what to look for in a CTO or software developer. When you have coding knowledge, the hiring process is smoother and you’ll experience fewer disappointments down the line.
Everyone who works in a startup has to be a jack of all trades. So it’s likely that the tech team has a ton of different irons in the fire.
Therefore, it helps if you know how to handle small technical issues that crop up on your own. This is ideal in lieu of adding more small tasks to their growing to-do list.
For example, when our CEO, Josh, found out that our marketing team racked up quite a phone and Skype bill making phone calls to potential coding bootcamp students, he sat down and built us a VoIP phone app.
Now we can make calls over the Internet for free, which makes life easier for our marketing team and cuts our monthly phone bill in half.
Whether you’re in a tech startup or not, when you learn to code you’ll benefit your business in many ways. We live in a digital age and pretty much everything is going digital. For this reason, and many more, tech skills can definitely help you grow and become a better entrepreneur.
So why not get out there and add this valuable skill to your repertoire?
This article has been edited.
Rachel Chan is an SEO and Content Marketer at NEXT Academy, Southeast Asia’s best coding school for aspiring entrepreneurs, freelancers and software developers. She helps create content for the company’s blog and is in charge of their SEO strategy. NEXT Academy runs coding and digital marketing bootcamps, and has graduated over 400 students from more than ten different countries with the goal of empowering them with the skills and knowledge they need to build their own tech startups or find their dream jobs in the tech industry. Connect with @nextacademy_ on Twitter.