Are coding skills necessary to work in technology?

After interview more than 50 technology professionalsincluding tech product managers at places like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Slack and more, we found that less than 5% of them have coding skills, and almost none of them are forced to code as part of their daily work. work.

And yet, most people interested in technology still believe that you have to learn to code to start a software business or to get a job for a company. What started as a well-meaning mantra a decade ago motivating young adults and career transitioners to learn coding skills to prepare for the future economy has turned into a catchphrase. -everything that is no longer accurate in the world of technology.

Although technical talent is still in high demand, more than 50% of opportunities in the industry do not require any coding skills. Telling everyone they should learn to code is like telling everyone they should become a doctor. Good advice if you’re passionate about saving people’s lives, but detrimental if it’s not aligned with your raw interests, skills, and talents.

Take Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, for example. After earning a university degree in communications, she first pursued a career as a lawyer, a path that is still touted as a safe career, despite being one of the most saturated fields on the market. , rapidly becoming automated with technology.

After nearly failing the LSAT exam, Blakely worked a short stint at Disney World before succeeding in sales, quickly being promoted to National Sales Trainer at the age of 25. She eventually used her sales skills to secure distribution deals for her hosiery. consumer product idea, growing the company to a $1 billion valuation over the next 20 years.

Bakely was lucky enough to find an alignment between his skills and his passion relatively early in his life, but today between 60% to 80% of the adult workforce the population is unhappy with his work. Many find themselves following a path laid out for them by their family, or expert advice they heard about in the news, without taking the time to understand that true business and career success comes from listening to your instincts when you feel the path you’re on isn’t right for you.

The technology sector is no different. The past decade has seen hundreds of coding bootcamps designed to teach technical skills to people looking for a lucrative career in the field. While some may have succeeded as software developers and architects, the market was flooded with junior technical talent and people who had neither the aptitude nor the desire to code.

Over the next several decades, it is estimated that many technical roles will be automated as the technical capabilities of artificial intelligence tools begin to outpace the speed and efficiency of human programmers.

Even in today’s economy, the most successful technically skilled employees possess strong communication, management, and leadership skills, enabling them to progress quickly beyond the role of individual contributing engineer.

Software companies rely on many other skilled employees to succeed beyond the skills required to code a valuable product. Big tech teams at places like Google and Facebook rely on experts in business development, marketing, product management, customer services, and more to drive value for their customers. While having a general understanding of technology and basic technical acumen is imperative to succeeding in a tech business, learning to code is not.

The new economy will place much more value on people with transferable skills who are comfortable adapting to new environments and rapidly developing industries. That’s why professionals in industries like education, nonprofits, retail, healthcare, and more are already successfully transitioning into roles in technology. To stand out from these opportunities, it’s important to be able to clearly communicate why your existing skills and interests can bring business value to the organization you’re interested in. For most hiring managers, this will be far more important than any given technical skill. .

Comments are closed.