Every Web Entrepreneur needs to learn Code

Coding is now very much on my radar

It is funny; I am not very technical at all. I am not on Facebook, I got my first smart phone 6 months ago and the idea of code was something I always just pulled away from. “Not for me” I would often here myself say or “If I need that; I will hire someone”.

My previous businesses have been in merchandise and video production amongst others and haven’t had a need for a major web presence. When there was a web presence required it would be through a template website such as Shopify, Squarespace, Yola or the likes. I always liked those options for a basic web presence and maybe I still do.

But, the one of the projects I am working is a large web platform with a large backend and developed features. Hardly surprising huh? Ideas of web platforms and apps for modern day entrepreneurs are as common as the sun in Innamincka . Everyone has an app idea or a web platform that will be the next big thing or at least that is what they believe. Go check out an incubator, bootcamp or accelerator to what I am saying. They are in full swing across the world and maybe 80% of the projects are app or web based services. Ideas are often repeated. Do you know how often I have heard of someone building the “airbnb of restaurants” or “Yes, the same thing but better”. Sorry, I am going on a tangent here and will save some of these thoughts for another post and truth is; ironically I almost certainly one of them neatly harbouring the “next big thing”.

In any case it was at an incubator in the Netherlands that I attended where I noted the boom in web and app projects. But what I also noted there wasn’t a single programmer in the room and everyone needed one, including myself. Where was this elusive programmer? Were they hiding behind their screens in the anti-social world I thought they live in? One thing was for sure, I needed to find out; I needed a programmer to get my project moving.

After some research I found out why I couldn’t locate a programmer. They aren’t hiding in dorms rooms. They aren’t hiding away from the world with a laptop as substitute for human companionship. They aren’t the geeks as suggested by the stereotype I had somehow built in my head. They are the ones taking the jobs the rest of us envy, jobs that are full of perks for the biggest and highest paying companies in the world. They are ones playing ping pong at lunch and snacking on pomegranate and goats cheese salads.

The European Commission believes there will be a shortage of 900,000 coders by 2020 in Europe alone. Programmers are in demand. Simple. And when you are in demand you can often get what you want and how you want it. So why would a programmer be interested in working for a small new idea project for little to no money when they can be working for a top notch company with all the perks and privileges? They are not; and you will not find a programmer for your project unless you have a credit limit to take you around the world several times. And if you have that; do that instead.

I guess I was naive to think I could hire a programmer so easily especially as I had no knowledge of what the role even involved. How could I even direct and instruct someone to do something in a language I didn’t even have a basic understanding of. Maybe I even thought they would be desperate to get experience for what could be one of what many entrepreneurs hope will be “next big thing” and they would be keen to work at a reduced rate. How how wrong I was.

Times are changing

I realised very quickly I needed to learn code. So, I am doing just that. I believe that every web or app entrepreneur needs to learn code and it is simply not possible to expect success without that as part of your skill set. Your project will not code without you. It is for you to take control and for you to make happen.

I have put my money where my mouth is. I am now learning web programming through treehouse since December. I am focused at the moment of Front end development with HTML, CSS and JavaScript and I have a longer term outlook towards Ruby on Rails. And if my “next big thing” doesn’t eventuate; I will have a new career and skill. Ideal.

And just quietly…I love it. Who would of thought.

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