National Coding Week is a recognised volunteer-led activity that aims to help build people’s confidence and skills when it comes to coding. Essentially, it recognises the importance of coding and developers in the modern business world. It’s a role that is becoming increasingly critical for organisations that strive to remain competitive in today’s landscape. With this in mind, seven IT experts have shared their thoughts and advice to other businesses when it comes to the importance of coding, and why it should be a more recognised skill.
Rich Pugh, Chief Data Scientist, Co-Founder at Mango Solutions:
“In order for businesses to remain competitive, it’s important they put data science and advanced analytics at the heart of their operations and invest in the necessary skills, training and support to derive value from them. Data is being created faster than ever before, however most organisations today have so much data, it’s falling between the cracks – taking valuable insights with it. The aim of National Coding Week is to improve digital literacy among the adult population in order to fill the growing skills gap and ultimately help businesses and organisations get the most value out of data. Programming and analytics are the must have skill sets for future generations at work, and it’s vital this is embedded into our schools – I believe it’s just as important as maths or English.
“Businesses that build their data science capabilities will have a far greater chance of success in the information age when it comes to increasing efficiencies, optimising revenues, and providing richer experiences for clients. It’s important to deal with the culture and consistency across the organisation, which can be hard work, but is the most effective solution in comparison to having silos of analytics and data. People who build their digital skills will be rewarded both financially and in terms of personal fulfilment.”
Josh Flinn, Director of Product Strategy & Innovation at Cybera:
“Change and progress in the technology industry is constant. The challenge is there is a huge talent shortage – there simply aren’t enough individuals with the right digital skills. In fact, in the UK alone there are an estimated 600,000 technology vacancies, with 52% business claiming it is hard to find the talent they need to fill the roles. This is why volunteer-led initiatives like National Coding Week are essential, providing accessible resources and opportunities to encourage more people to develop their existing skillsets. Together with the support of business these initiatives will help close the skill-shortage gap.”
Liam Butler, AVP at SumTotal:
“The IT department can be a rich source of differentiation, innovation, and competitive advantage for an organisation, but businesses are faced with a growing shortage of skilled IT Professionals. Mobile, Big Data and cloud-based architectures are creating significant challenges for the entire IT ecosystem and with scarce resources, many IT professionals may find themselves pushed into an area they are not completely confident operating in. In the face of this critical skills shortage, organisations need to be mindful of what they are asking their IT teams to do.
Comprehensive training and certification can help IT professionals stay ahead of the changing technology landscape, while at the same time validating their skills and knowledge. Effective training will not only help to avoid the time, costs, and headaches of replacing scarce resources, it also helps maintain the subtleties and nuances of the IT operations within a specific organisation – providing both continuity and consistency – while ensuring no IT Professional ever hits their point of professional failure.”
Anu Yamunan, VP, Products at Exabeam:
“In the past several years, we have seen the emergence of a new standard of employee for the technology industry. The modern-day tech worker has to be technical, but also creative, innovative and an incredibly talented problem solver. Coders tick every single one of these boxes. As a developer, similar to a painter, they are taking a blank canvas and constructing something extraordinary out of nothing—and have to navigate any issue that comes their way. When something goes wrong with their code or the original code does not work, it is up to them to fix it as fast as possible. Employees with coding skills are now essential personnel in the modern enterprise. The demand for coding skills is already high, but as we continue to see the evolution of AI and machine learning, it will only become greater. These technologies are transforming the way we process and analyse data, which offers incredible insight to inform sales and marketing, network security teams and more. National Coding Week serves as a great platform to highlight how we need more people with these skills to manage evolving technologies.”
Bob Davis, CMO at Plutora:
“In today’s software-driven world, organisations must be able to deliver high-quality software in order to succeed and grow. Organisations can only gain this competitive advantage through quick, efficient, and quality software releases, orchestrated by development teams with strong and fluent coders. Coders are the bricklayers of the software world, and they ensure every project starts with a sturdy foundation upon which developers can build. It’s essential for every organisation – whether it’s a startup or an experienced enterprise – to retain talented coders on staff who are able to meet the demands of fluctuating software needs quickly and at scale. Coding is becoming the language of business, and every organisation needs to be able to communicate.”
Jen Locklear, Chief Talent Officer at ConnectWise:
“This National Coding Week, businesses need to highlight the importance of women in technology by educating young women. More companies are moving to support and educate females at a younger age about their prospects within the technology industry. By supporting organisations and non-profits like Girls Who Code, you equip young women with the necessary tools and opportunities to succeed in the competitive tech industry. As technology continues to infiltrate projects and daily assignments as early as elementary school, young women learn how to deploy the skills necessary to build confidence and authority within the space. Remember this when hiring recent grads who have most likely grown up around technology. To educate women already in the workforce, invest in seminars, training, and conferences that will build upon existing knowledge while also forging connections and empower them to break glass ceilings.”
Neil Barton, CTO at WhereScape:
“Automation is enabling businesses to get things done faster and with greater efficiency. In the case of machine learning processing, data infrastructure automation is the key to ensuring organisations are leveraging trusted data, by generating repeatable code and metadata that provides strong data governance and transparent lineage. By utilising automation in this and other ways, organisations are also able to lift the mundane and repetitive coding off of the plates of its developers and instead provide opportunities to contribute within other aspects of development that will greatly impact the bottom line and be personally rewarding.”
With all of the different benefits that digital skills create for a business, it’s important that organisations of all shapes and sizes continue to encourage staff when it comes to learning new skills. Join the conversation this #NationalCodingWeek.