Coding: The business language of today

In this piece, Uval Blumenfeld of Wix discusses why, for small businesses, learning to code is a starting point for those who want to keep up with the growing need for digital skills.

No longer reserved for the IT department, the ability to write code is fundamental for professionals in commerce, marketing, finance, and beyond. As larger businesses undergo digital transformations to keep up with the latest technologies, small businesses must similarly update skillsets and technology to keep pace with the evolving business landscape. For small businesses, learning to code is a starting point for those who want to keep up with the growing need for digital skills and thrive in a modern business environment.

The British Chambers of Commerce announced earlier this year that digital skills are essential in business operation, and yet more than 75 per cent of businesses are facing a shortage of digital skills in their workforce. Why is there such a gap in demand in skills? Alarmingly, more than 12.6 million UK adults lack even the basic digital skills required for modern-day business.

The good news is learning to code doesn’t mean going back to school or committing 40 hours a week to get a handle on the digital skill. A quarter of all UK-based developers are actually self-taught with no university education. Online coding courses along with easy-to-use coding platforms are just some of the few ways people are becoming more digitally proficient and in turn better equipping businesses.

Learning to code – it’s good business

Even the most basic business functions benefit from an understanding of code. Whether the business is in the technology sector or not, if a business has a website, app or is selling online – coding is relevant. Coding can enhance productivity and communication across the business. Whether a business has an in-house technology team or outsources the work, even a basic understanding of coding can provide enough shared understanding to make communication between teams more effective.

For small businesses and start-ups, resources are often scarce, whether that’s time, funds, or skills. Learning to code adds valuable resources to the talent pool of a small business. Having the ability to make a small change to a website or update content in an app without the help of a programmer is especially useful in small teams. Learning to code, and managing code, is not as scary as it used to be just a few years ago.

There are multitudes of online courses (free and paid), in-person training, books, videos, etc. that can get someone started. As coding becomes a mainstream skill, where the majority of the workforce will have a level of understanding or proficiency in, it will start to shift how businesses behave.

An example of this is the finance function within small businesses. Where once small businesses relied on accountants to handle all finances, easy-to-use software from companies like Intuit has simplified the task that with a small amount of training any member of the team could take on this role. Whilst it doesn’t remove the need to outsource finance fully, it certainly goes some way in reducing costs and improving businesses efficiency.

Coding the future

Mark Zuckerberg said, ‘In fifteen years we’ll be teaching programming just like reading and writing . . . and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.’ While learning to code may seem like a daunting task, coding is increasingly approachable for new learners – thanks to a huge number of online and offline resources that teach code at every level of sophistication. More than that, it’s a skill that once learned, can empower businesses and entrepreneurs with the ability to solve problems to an extent that few other skills can.

Having a more advanced skillset in the digital age is not only beneficial for small businesses, but becoming increasingly vital for success. Coding is becoming part of general literacy, even for those that don’t have ‘software engineer’ as their job title regardless of industry and role.

This article was provided by Uval Blumenfeld of Wix.

Further reading on coding

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