“Learn How to Code” Is the Worst Advice for Getting Into Tech
Over the past decade, I’ve completed the trifecta of the tech industry:
- I’ve freelanced with startups and entrepreneurs
- Founded two tech companies
- I’m now a full-time tech consultant working with Fortune 500 companies.
To me, this isn’t that unusual — these days, more and more people are embracing less traditional career paths, especially when it comes to breaking into tech.
The part I tend to proudly share is the fact that I’ve done all of this without writing a single line of code. In fact, I only know enough to have a (semi) intelligent conversation with someone who does know how to code — no more, no less.
Whenever I stumble across a Tweet or LinkedIn post that claims you have to learn how to code if you want to make it in tech, I (with my non-technical background) tend to roll my eyes.
Like so many other outdated pieces of advice from online tech bros, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
We live in an amazing time where technology is getting faster and cheaper each year, which makes it more accessible for those who didn’t have the privilege to grow up with a computer.
In the tech industry, there’s a popular three-way Venn diagram that sums up the three major focuses for any product or business:
As you can see, technology only takes up one of the three major circles.
There is plenty of opportunity to work in the other two circles (or even where they overlap with technology). In fact, there are new non-technical tech jobs popping up every day that focus on other areas that are just as important for building and sustaining a piece of technology.
Whenever I talk to someone with a liberal arts background who wants to get into tech, they usually share some version of the same worry:
“I honestly don’t even know where to start.”