You’ve been preparing for years. After establishing a career in the business world, you’re ready to strike out on your own—it’s time to be an entrepreneur, or an app developer, or a consultant with an awesome website to bring in the big bucks. You’ve already developed an impressive quiver of business skills to bolster your success, but there’s one area in which you’re lacking. You can’t code.
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There are few businesses today that aren’t dependent on computer software at some level. Whether you need to create a website, develop an app, or design a new software product, someone will have to know how to code for your new venture to be a success.
Today’s college students have a vast array of computer science programs to choose from, and businesses are hiring software developers at a voracious pace. So, do you go back to college to learn this new skill? Do you teach yourself online? Both these options are plausible, but many of today’s entrepreneurs are choosing a third option—they are signing up for coding bootcamps. Coding bootcamps such as Metis and DEV Bootcamp immerse new developers of all ages and backgrounds in intense training programs that focus on learning particular coding languages and technical web-related skills in a short period of time, usually 9-18 weeks.
Of course, as an entrepreneur, you can hire a team to handle the programming aspects of any new venture you start, but there are benefits to learning software development skills yourself.
Here are the top 4 reasons that coding bootcamps make better entrepreneurs:
1. You’ll be able to turn your ideas into products.
By blending your business skills, and even your hobbies, with a basic knowledge of coding, you can breathe life into that project you have only been dreaming about. Fiftly-three-year-old Sean O’Toole, for example, left behind a long career as an investment banker and trader to learn coding at the DEV Bootcamp in Chicago. “The trading world had really changed quite dramatically from when I started in the 1980s,” O’Toole says of his decision to switch careers, “I just wanted to do something new and something I found interesting.” He paired his love of problem-solving with his knowledge of the commodities market to start a business partnership based around a software product he had previously been a customer for, one he wanted to take to the next level.
O’Toole had been toying with his software idea for a few years and talking to the company he wanted to develop it with, but it was not until he learned to code that he was able to take the lead on his project and bring it to fruition. “Making the decision to career-change at this point in life,” he says, “I couldn’t have done it without a program like DEV Bootcamp.”
2. You’ll learn to speak a language vital to your business.
The more fluent you are in foreign languages, the better you can communicate your needs and ideas to others who speak those languages. This concept is exactly the same in the world of computer programming. Learning to code is comparable to learning a foreign language— the better you understand computer coding languages, the easier it will be for you to communicate your ideas to any programmers you work with.
When you understand what programmers can and can’t do for you, what they need from you, and how to express your ideas to them, the process of working together as a team on your projects will produce the best results.
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3. You’ll have the ability to direct your own success.
Haste may make waste, as the saying goes, but in the world of software development, hastily developed code can cause a product launch to flop. O’Toole discovered that the temptation to ignore potential problems could be an issue for the younger software developers he trained with at DEV Bootcamp. “I think that older developers bring a sense of wisdom to a project,” O’Toole says and gives this example: “I’ll be working on a bug fix and I come across something that clearly is a problem that somebody who is just in a hurry might look at and say ‘oh well, we’ll just pass that.’ I tend to look at it differently. I tend to look at it from the business side. I see where the impact is going to be down the line and I say we need to fix this, this, and this because the underlying root cause is over here… I think that just comes with maturity and wisdom.”
As an entrepreneur who codes, you’ll be in a position to save your project from software developers who can’t, or won’t, see the problems that might crop up for you down the line.
4. You’ll make valuable contacts.
Coding bootcamps have created wide networks of alumni to help each other find jobs, but many older students are signing up so they can work on their own startups rather than begin again at the bottom of another corporate ladder. A.J. Agrawal who participated in a Coding Dojo bootcamp, hired a fellow bootcamp student to help him launch his startup, Alumnify.com. In a testimonial for the bootcamp on ZDNet, Argawal says, “Great companies are built by having great people, and the bootcamp is able to bring in hardworking, smart and dedicated students together under one roof, which gives you the ability to come together and build meaningful relationships and products.”
Coding bootcamps will help you network with like-minded entrepreneurs and potentially valuable partners, or employees, who can help to make your new venture a success.
Have you had experience with coding bootcamps? Share your story below.