How Coding Helped Me As a Marketer

July 19, 2016

Coding is the new superpower. Coding is like magic – with the tips of your fingers you can make your ideas come to life, but to benefit from coding you don’t need to know all the high-brow ‘Computer Science Theories’ –  just understanding the basics can empower you to do your job better.

I head up at marketing at Makers Academy, Europe’s leading coding bootcamp. I haven’t done the course but I’ve done bits of the pre-course and, through osmosis, I’ve soaked up a lot of knowledge about coding. My job has definitely got easier as I learnt more and more basic code.

When we rebuilt our website, we decided we wanted to build it in such a way that someone non-technical like me would be able to update content easily. We didn’t have the resources to build a content management backend so instead it was up to me to understand the basics of git (a version controlling protocol), terminal (the programme that lets you talk to the computer) and Text Editor (I use Atom) as well as learning to navigate the code.

Our team built the site in a way where I was able to easily get my head around YAML files, learn bits of HAML and work out which partials represent what sections of the website (If this all sounds like gobbledygook to you – I was where you are just a few months ago!). By understanding where the data is kept, which partials, for example, relate to the ‘carousel feature’ or ‘article feature’, I’m able to take that code and use it as a building block to build custom landing pages very quickly.

By looking under the hood I’m able to see how each partial is made up. In the past, I had to lean on an engineer if I needed a new custom partial made up, but now I’m able to take the code and customise it because I understand the logic behind it. At first, it all used to scare me – especially when all these random letters would come up in my terminal – but now I understand it’s telling me what’s wrong and I can fix issues easily.

At Makers Academy a lot of our students are ex-marketers who got frustrated at their inability to deliver the technical implementation of their ideas & campaigns. People like Jonathan and Emma. I’m lucky that I didn’t have to share the frustration they had because not only do I know how to build a quick landing page, I also know where to put the tracking code to track the effectiveness of it too. It’s awesome not having to rely on the engineers on our team for help, and if I’m ever stuck I have a building full of students who can help me!

Understanding the basics of coding has empowered me to be a more powerful employee. I think everyone should try to understand simple logic and the basics of coding, and everyone should know how to navigate git. It gives you independence and allows you to be a better marketer. If you’re jealous of the engineers on your team then why not join them and learn to code in 12 weeks with us instead and make that career change?

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