Should I learn to code?

I’ve been stalking FreeCodeCamp’s Medium blog for a while. I’ve been reading really inspiring stories of how people from completely non-technical backgrounds made successful transitions into coding through the FCC bootcamps and the intense certification process. I have been reading the FCC blog in my bed, day after day.

Until yesterday, when I decided to take the plunge into FreeCodeCamp’s website and signed myself up.

Creating my first Github account made me as happy as Jared in Silicon Valley when’s he’s sometimes accidentally accepted into the hallowed engineering halls by his co-workers. I am Jared around my engineers.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have an excuse to say that I am an outsider looking in. I am a product manager at one of Silicon Valley’s big tech companies, and I have an undergraduate degree in engineering.

But back in the day, I gave up coding two years into my job. I didn’t dislike Java, but I hated my team who refused to help me with code reviews and in general, didn’t include me in their social plans. So i made an exit. As quick and as recklessly as I could.

About nine years ago, when I was working in India, software engineer was not a sexy job title.You could find them by the dozens, around street corners in India, said some stand-up comics of that time. And it wasn’t really far fetched either. Hordes of engineering students, in India’s tier-2 to tier-n undergraduate colleges, graduate with hopes and dreams of making it big .Their dreams are ready to be quelled by the unimaginative service driven IT industry, which thrives on offshoring business critical applications for large financial institutions or incumbent industries in Western Europe or USA. The tectonic shift towards startups is recent.

But I am digressing.

I am in a Valley based company now. I feel safe. I feel there is an abundance of ideas in technology. And learning to code is a mandatory skill, even for product managers who’ve lost touch with their engineering skills.

For me,its not about turning into a full fledged developer in my current company, but about having the skills and the drive to create something on my own, which can scale.

Having said that, I am off to complete my Front End certification at FreeCodeCamp.

Wish me luck!