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5 professional benefits of learning to code


By signing up for Skillacademy for Teams, you already put one of the hardest parts of learning to code behind you — getting started. But if you need a little extra motivation, here’s a tip: stay focused on the benefits that’ll come from from what you’re learning, like career advancement or more exciting projects.

Need a little inspiration? Six learners share what they experienced as a result of upskilling with Skillacademy.

“I can have better conversations with developers now.”

If you’re in a non-technical role, learning a programming language means you’re able to speak the same language as the engineers, developers, or customers you’re working with. Less gets lost in translation, which makes it easier for everyone to stay on the same page as far as expectations and timelines.

Take it from Johnnie, Business Intelligence (BI) Team Lead at The Motley Fool, who completed the Python course:

“This has been the first time I’ve been able to successfully retain Python. I can remember the syntax now, I can remember the functions now. It hammered it into my head better than any other times I tried to learn it with videos or books. I’m more confident and I feel more understanding of our devs. I can have better, more contextual conversations with them now.”

When you know the technical lingo and have a basic understanding of how products are built, it leads to more natural conversations with those in other functions, which — you never know — could spark the next big idea at your company. Calli Bonnet, a Product Manager at Paradox shares:

“I love getting the opportunity to chat with other people who are doing similar things and bounce ideas off each other. When we talk about a product or requirements, we’re all talking the same language now.”

New tools pop up all the time and you can never be sure which one your team may adopt or which one a future employer may prefer. Keeping up with technology trends is the way of work these days, so the more knowledge you have, the better. It’s this idea that motivates Gary Taylor, BI Analyst at The Motley Fool, to keep learning:

“For me, it was expanding my toolbox. When you look at the tool set that gets used in data science a lot, Python is way up there. Your critical data analysis tools — like Django, NumPy, or pandas — are all derived from Python.”

“The products I manage are shipped at higher quality.”

By understanding how code works, you’re able to think through the technical requirements of building a product, adding a feature, or fulfilling a customer request. This helps you more accurately gauge what’s possible — and what’s not — given your resources, ultimately resulting in better products. As Product Director at Paradox, Jessica Sarceda experiences this:

“I am in a very strategic and product heavy role, and through learning with Skillacademy (SQL in particular), I can now better communicate with clients on their reporting requests, speaking to what’s realistic technically and map those reporting needs to engineering. I have found that the more I can technically understand the scope of products I manage, the more likely the product is to be shipped at high quality.”

“We’re getting opportunities to work on bigger projects.”

When you know how a product works inside and out, it shows. And when leadership picks up on this, they’ll be more likely to trust you with bigger, more strategic projects. This was the case for a group of product managers at Paradox who learned to code together. Calli from the team shares:

“We’re getting the opportunity to work on more strategic initiatives that involve looking at our database, looking at the data we have, and thinking about how we can potentially restructure it. I don’t know that leadership would give us that opportunity if we didn’t have a basic understanding of how the product works, what’s possible, and what’s not possible. We’re getting more opportunities, bigger opportunities as product people.”

“I felt stuck in my day-to-day tasks. Now I have some independence.”

Getting through your work becomes a lot easier when you don’t have to rely on others for their technical skills or knowledge. Not to mention, it feels pretty empowering to be able to run with tasks on your own. This was the case for Marco De Libero, a senior BI analyst, who tells us:

“To perform very basic analyses, I needed to interrogate an old, slow, and basic software to retrieve my raw data in the first place. Furthermore, any advanced extraction needed a data engineer to do the job. I felt stuck in my day-to-day tasks. My wake-up call was when my data engineer co-worker suggested that I pick up some SQL skills to provide me with some independence when completing my tasks. I’ve built some exciting analyses that I could never have completed had I not started my coding journey with Skillacademy.”

“My company recognized my growth.”

Climbing the corporate ladder is a thing of the past. Today, it’s way more common to dip your toes into new areas, try out different roles, and apply a mix of different skills at work. The result could be career advancement or work that’s more fulfilling, which was the case for Jorge Alejo at dataPlor. He explains:

“As I’ve developed more skills, I’ve created multiple, company-wide business intelligence dashboards, provided custom datasets for everyday operations, and assumed command of a variety of processes at the console level. My company has recognized my growth and I have since moved into data analytics for operations and business intelligence, which is now my main responsibility.”

Keep coding, keep growing

We know learning a new technical skill isn’t easy. But, as the learners above can tell you, it’s worth it. So, keep putting one foot in front of the other and don’t stop until you reach your goals.

Speaking of reaching your goals, what are you aiming to achieve by learning how to code? Let us know in the comments below! And if you’re still figuring out where to get started, we have some recommendations for courses based on your current team and role. Check them out here.

March 11, 2021

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