We always hear about each team member playing his or her own role on the startup team. But what about the developer – are they the only person that needs to code? Or should the rest of the team know basic skills?
The short answer is yes. And here’s why:
1. Communication is key in startups – and any business really – so if your marketers and project managers have more knowledge of coding and development, they can communicate better with the programmers. Instead of asking, “Can you put this here?” your staff can give comprehensive directions and requests.
2. Coding helps problem-solving skills and startups encounter many problems. Learning to code freshens the problem solving skills we’re taught at a very young age, and these skills are especially key at a startup, where unique and interesting problems pop up daily.
3. Computer programming is really taking over, so your employees learning to code will help them in the future. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 there were 913,000 jobs in computer programming. This number is set to jump 30% from 2010 to 2020, while the average growth rate of other jobs is about 14%. The fact is – your startup might fail, but at least you are giving your employees skills to move forward.
The best startup employee doesn’t have just one skill. Though you may find the best designer, if they also have basic coding skills, they’re more valuable as a candidate. It’s important to invest resources in employee development, because you never know where your startup will go – maybe you’ll get acquired or bought. Either way, you want your employees to be the best they can be.
4. There’s a constant shortage of developers, so you could be training a potential programmer. Last year, daily deal site LivingSocial couldn’t find programmers, so they paid 24 people on their staff to learn computer programming in 5 months. All 24 members passed the class and became full-time developers at the company. With developers in such high demand, your company may want to (or have to) hire within.
5. Computers aren’t going anywhere…nor is the Internet. Having team members that can create basic websites and set up analytics is invaluable – because those skills will be needed for a while to come.
There are free platforms like code.org popping up all over the place, as well as highly technical paid programs to teach your employees coding. With a basic knowledge across the board, your team can function better and more efficiently.
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