Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Understanding Technology and Programing is Vital

In the future, will we *all* have to code?

However, if you want to put together a quick prototype, but use real content, then that kind of implies hooking it into a back-end database.
David Haynes from Soundcloud suggest that developers are the people who are shaping the sound of modern music. And there is a constant debate these days in the journalism world about whether journalists need to learn how to code.

So, are we all going to have to learn how to code?
[pairing] allows both parties to use their areas of expertise to develop something that is potentially bigger than the sum of its parts, rather than dumbing down software development to a commodity level.

Oh, and just a little something to throw into the mix - the pressure seems to be coming from both directions. Last week Tyler Tate posted “Why developers should become UX designers”

I believe most importantly we will all need to have a coding mentality. The world has changed from 50 years ago. It is hard to imagine making serious decisions about priorities for most any organization without a basic appreciation of coding. Here I am talking about something a bit different than you, I am talking about program managers that are not going to be doing anything related to creating the code behind the effort and executives... I don't understand how people think they can continue to be ignorant about technology and hope to be relevant. I don't think you need to have the knowledge to code yourself but you need to be much more knowledgeable than most people are today. And really if you are under 40 (maybe over that you can hope to slide by into the sunset without suffering too much from your ignorance but that is a dangerous gamble), I think you have to try to pick up coding in simple ways. Not to be an expert but to be able to at least understand the capabilities, the tradeoffs, databases, Ux principles...

My guess is over the next 20 years we will figure out much better ways to let people gain knowledge of coding ideas without having to become coders. But until then I think it is imperative for most people to realize to comprehend the modern world they need to gain an understanding of coding (even if they are not going to be an expert).

I agree strongly with your thoughts on pairing with experts. It is much easier to pair if you at least comprehend the general ideas of the others areas of expertise. I don't think it is great to dumb things down to the level one expert can do the others job. But I think it is critical to understand that your expertise is part of a system. The Ux is part of the solution. Coding is part of the solution. The whole is what matters.

However, if you want to put together a quick prototype, but use real content"

Absolutely. Prototypes without real data lose a great deal. Super quick, first drafts maybe that is ok. But quickly getting to prototypes that are integrated with real data should be the goal.

Related: Management By IT Crowd Bosses - Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work - Involve IT Staff in Business Process Improvement - Internet Access at Work

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