What code really teaches entrepreneurs
In a world where software is omnipresent, there has never been a better time to learn to code. Coding skills broaden your scope of opportunity, and becoming a web developer is just one option among many.
When you first dive into programming, two things happen. Firstly, you don’t feel the urgency to build a new product as you’ll discover that it can be easier to build upon existing code, and you learn to look for existing resources you can reuse to save time. Without the pressure to build something brand new, you have more time to get more creative.
Secondly, you boost your technical creativity as you start to see patterns that create neural connections in your brain. Code shapes your way of thinking as an entrepreneur: a person who focuses on the value proposition of their product, tries to re-use existing tools and remain creative all at the same time.
Here are some more of the hidden benefits of how coding can make you a better entrepreneur.
Learning the incremental approach
When a child builds a LEGO tower, they instinctively adopt an algorithmic approach. They take the first brick, put it on the bottom, take a second one, add it to the first one, and so on. In programming, this is called a loop.
Sadly, adults tend to lose this simple approach after being spoilt with theory during their education. Imagine a child trying to take all their LEGO bricks at the same time and add them all together to build a tower. Of course, this makes no sense – and the same is true in programming.
Learning to code is a way to rediscover a simple incremental approach that we once had. Developers don’t write perfect programs from the start. They take the plunge and attempt to iterate, refactor and enhance their program. Good programmers naturally develop this lean instinct. And if they can apply it to other fields like product, marketing, design and business, this will make them efficient & pragmatic entrepreneurs.
Adapt to new workflows
More than in any other job, a developer has to adapt to new tools and workflows. Imagine what it means to work with five other developers on a Rails project with 150+ code files. This would be difficult to handle by exchanging files on Slack every time you make a small change in the code, this is why developers use the Github flow.
Github is a kind of Dropbox for developers where they can centralise the source code and all involved can easily contribute to the project. Using Github is a completely new way of working that leaves a big footprint for anyone who discovers it.
The Github flow can be challenging for a beginner. To create branches, commit your changes, push your work, open pull requests, discuss and merge them can be quite daunting, but embracing this way of working will develop a very high adaptability to new workflows to serve you well in the future.
Be less lazy
Learning to code is both rigorous and demanding. A missing comma or bracket will make your code crash. Developers must learn to be patient, read error messages, dig deep into their programs and try to debug them.
While we all get used to multi-tasking, swiping from one app to the other, developers have to spend time reading documentation and errors and debug their code. That’s why learning to speak to your computer is an amazing way to regain patience, attention to detail and concentration abilities.
When students have coded for 10 hours a day for two months and developed several products they have climbed the technical wall. At this point, they discover that they can launch any project without depending on a key resource, and they start to feel powerful. This is what code really teaches you.
About the author
Boris Paillard is CEO of the world’s top-rated coding school Le Wagon, which just launched its bootcamps in Australia. After 3 years in financial markets, Boris got bored and launched Le Wagon to bring technical skills to creative people and entrepreneurs.