Starting a business is not an easy task. In fact, the sad reality is that most businesses end up failing not because they run out of money, but because they run out of resources. Especially in the tech world, I have seen that the key differentiator between successful and unsuccessful tech companies is their ability to code. For this reason, I have learned that entrepreneurs and business owners should have some coding knowledge. Technology breaks when it wants to break and waiting for a tech or developer to return a request for assistance may take more time than you have to fix the problem.
Knowing is half the battle itself, so learning to code is a valuable skill that tech entrepreneurs should have. It also provides a career option to fall back on should entrepreneurship not work out. Here are 8 reasons entrepreneurs should learn how to code.
1. Reduces Overhead Costs
Hiring a developer or a coder for that sole purpose is costly. An entrepreneur that has coding skills reduces overhead immediately. While having an in-house developer on staff is a safety net during security breaches and server breakdowns, these are all issues that an entrepreneur can learn to handle alone.
2. Faster Product/Service Development
Waiting on code development stages to complete for product, application, software and tech-related products can put prototype completion timelines in jeopardy. When an entrepreneur learns to code they can move product and service development along a bit faster. This also allows the testing phases of the project to occur faster.
3. Creating Proper Project Timelines
When you know how long each part of product development actually takes, including the time allotted for coding, your project timelines are more realistic. It saves a lot of stress and tension often felt by development teams with supervisors that do not understand the process. Providing a developer, when outside assistance is needed, with an appropriate deadline reduces extensions, mistakes, and incomplete programs from being written.
4. Additional Career Opportunities
If the tech adventure you planned does not turn full-circle or completely fails, learning to code gives you career options to fall back on. Some of the career options to consider are web development, segmenting networks and wireless network technician, to name a few. Entrepreneurs always need to have a "plan B" in case the path they wanted to go down ends up being a dead-end road or cliff-hanging situation.
5. Faster Idea Analysis
All entrepreneurs need to have at least one technical genius behind them to help conduct product analysis, build a development team, and conduct beta testing. Double checking statistics and testing results with a different set of eyes is ideal in most situations. With two people working on the data, results come in faster and plans for development, marketing, and product launch can begin.
6. Ability to Transfer Learning
Learning to code gives you something as the boss to pass down to members of your workforce. If you are an app development entrepreneur, teaching a specific method to a team member empowers them to assist in more of the development phases. You have time to teach the team member as apps can take months to develop. It is estimated that less than 0.1-percent of app developers will profit by 2018.
Transferring what you, as an entrepreneur, learned in coding class onto those working for you builds a stronger team, more complete end-product, and an interchangeable team to break up tasks. Transferring learning is a vital part of being a successful entrepreneur since many will look up to you directly as a mentor.
7. Self-Customization Abilities
Sometimes it is difficult to convey exactly what you want from a project. It can be difficult to use simple terminology to explain to a coding developer what you envision in your own mind. The ability to customize applications, websites and programs yourself ensures that you are creating exactly what you want. Not only are you more valuable to yourself for having these skills, you are more valuable to the entire team.
Self-customization abilities can lead a tech entrepreneur onto developing new apps to help others teach themselves new processes, a new skill, or problem-solving skills. An entrepreneur's mind is always thinking of the best way to do something, developing more tech-related items is a display of that.
8. Developer Pool Falling Behind
The increasing number of new businesses and startups has increased the demand for tech developers. The pool of available senior coders is thinning and those that are still working are just getting behind. Experienced developers are expected to learn new protocols quickly, new developers are held to the same standards. The issue with learning too quickly is that important information is missed, which leads to mistakes.
Entrepreneurs, especially on new tech ventures, should be more self-sufficient. Operating and development costs will be lower and an education can be gained. A well-rounded entrepreneur that understands every phase of his or her business is setting themselves up for success. Knowing the time, it requires to complete each phase of a project helps the entrepreneur develop a stronger marketing plan and product overview.