Where there is a will, there is a way. If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, anything, to keep what you want from ending, do it. Pry the door open or, if need be, wedge your foot in that door and keep it open.

– Pauline Kael

Sometimes, entrepreneurs, you want to create a software product/technology but you have no technical/coding skills. As a founder, if you do not have any tech skills then you can be held hostage by the tech guy, charged enormously for a small change in the code which might not take that much time, be misled by your employees/contractors on the time it will take for them to complete any task.

I am not saying that this will happen. But being a founder with no coding skill at all, there is a chance that it can happen. Moreover, as a founder of a software product, you might want to even learn a little bit of tech side to understand the product design or hire the right developers.

In this post, we will take a look at helpful technical-coding skills for entrepreneurs. With say 10 hours a week, you should be able to go through the basics of all these in just a couple of months. And that would make you an entrepreneur that knows enough about coding to be dangerous.

This post assumes that you have no previous technical/coding knowledge. Considering that we would like to recommend you a learning path to developing these technical skills.

When you start exercising you would be told that squats, deadlifts and chest press are your friends. These are the exercises you want to take with you on a deserted island. For tech, a similar analogy might be HTML/CSS/JavaScript.

Let’s try to understand them one by one.

HTML

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language

All the web pages you read, they are written in HTML. This is how things are written on the internet and all the web pages that you visit. Having some knowledge of HTML really allows you to do tweaks in WordPress, Drupal or any CMS you are using. You become instantly dangerous as a webpage editor. If I had to define HTML I would say it is the set of tags that you put around text to tell the browser what is a link, text, H1s, lists etc.

The fanciest thing that HTML does can be said to be, making text bold, adding header tags, making bulleted lists etc. Sounds really basic, but it is the building block of the internet. It is how information is written on the internet, and on your company website! To be honest it is not even that hard to get a hang of it. You will certainly enjoy creating making web pages in HTML. The best part is you can visualize things and see it materialize before your eyes on a webpage. It’s a lovely feeling.

You can get started here – https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_intro.asp

CSS

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets

If HTML makes text on a webpage CSS is what makes it looks pretty. CSS makes a webpage look pretty. Web pages use CSS to change the background color, change font size, fonts or any of the visual design.

in CSS you basically specific HTML blocks (called divs) by their classes or IDs (identifiers) and define how they will look. Means the padding, color, font size, and all that visual stuff.

CSS is extremely powerful and can change the look and feel of your HTML completely.

Check out this website – http://www.mezzoblue.com/zengarden/alldesigns/ to look at how powerful CSS is. All of the examples contain the same HTML (text) but the change in CSS makes all of the designs look so different.

JavaScript

Now we are getting into the heavier stuff. JavaScript is a programming language. That means it can actually be used to write a full-fledged software. Sidenote – knowing enough of HTML, CSS and JavaScript can also get you a job as a web developer. It can be used to make awesome web apps, software, IoT applications, or create mobile applications for iOS as well as Android.  Think about it, knowing these three things opens so many possibilities. It lets you create MVP for your software easily.

JavaScript is a fun language that has a huge fan following around the world. Earlier it was used to manipulate web pages, but now you can create powerful web apps, do machine learning, visualize data, or be useful in marketing technology.

You might want to consider playing with App Script to practice your JavaScript. It’s a fun JavaScript based environment by Google and they hide the OAuth part of interacting with other Google services, hence you can start making pretty powerful applications to automate your business processes really soon.

Github

Alright, now you have the bases covered for being able to do a lot of things to be dangerous. You do not need to know 10 languages to be dangerous, you just need to know the ones we talked above.

You are my friend –

Now the next step we would think is Github or any other git-based code sharing platform.

Software developers (your team) may work around the world but be working on a single product. The way they collaborate is through a tool like Github. Knowing how to use Github will let you see what your developers are working on, download the code on your PC and run it to test it, or maybe even make changes to the code and contribute to the development of software product! How cool is that! You have come a long way, Sir/Madam!

When you start working with GitHub I would recommend you to use the desktop app to start with so you do not have to learn the commands and get things done without going to deep in git commands.

Other things you should know

Here are some other things for you to explore –

  • WordPress – It is a great CMS platform to make a website. You can make your own business website on it.
  • Cloud – Read what is cloud after all?
  • SQL/Python – If you are in a data-intensive business than it might be helpful to get your hands dirty with these. SQL for querying data, python for doing data analysis.

So hope this article was helpful to you. If you do these things you will be so much better positioned to work on a software product once you know how it works 🙂

It’s a journey, Do not be discouraged. You do not have to be the best developer, you just have to know how it works. So be easy on yourself and have fun.

Let us know in the comments what you think about it!


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