GE CEO Jeff Immelt made waves when he announced in late 2016 that every new GE hire–whether they’re in marketing, product design, programming, operations, finance, or any number of the tech giant’s departments–would learn to code as part of their onboarding process. But why? Isn’t that why you hire programmers?
But as we sleep, wear, and live tech on a day-to-day basis, coding and programming have become as important as knowing how to use email. What seemed like a “nice to have” skill just 20 years ago is one that is necessary for a corporate landscape. Teaching employees to code puts you ahead of the skills curve, especially if you want to compete in a digitally-driven world. Could digital learning be the answer to creating a company of coders?
If you say yes and already have a program in mind, let us know here.
Driving Change Through Code
Even if you have your department completely dedicated to programming and coding, you might not have all of your bases covered. Coders and programmers think a certain way and often need fresh eyes, particularly during the debugging or testing phase of new products. Teaching employees to code can turn them into beta testers that can offer feedback, but also understand the technology behind making changes and creating a better product overall.
An army of coding employees can also reduce the workload on your programmers, especially for smaller issues and projects. Imagine how valuable it would be if your accounting department could quickly create a simple program for calculations, or your graphic design department was less restricted by the constraints of an editing program. Once learned, coding is one of those skills that you can’t believe you did without.
The Code for Training
Coding is a technical skill and such, works best when approached through blended learning. Most newbies will need to see demonstrations to properly understand it, which is why a structure similar to the Khan Academy videos works well. A whiteboard lesson with a facilitator gives learners a chance to see coding first hand before practicing themselves.
Still, it’s nearly impossible to get all learners to attend at the same time, which is why an asynchronous approach also works well. Think about it: a facilitator runs a webinar, which is recorded, and viewers can watch at their own pace and then ask questions during a specified window of time. Doing so brings the best of both worlds together to create a coding learning experience that is convenient without leaving the details to chance. Learners can piggyback their knowledge onto personalized learning experiences, while those without any prior coding experience get the full benefit of a dedicated facilitator.
Coding isn’t just for tech geeks and programmers anymore. With an army of coders at your side, you’ll be able to blast through bugs, skip over minor programming issues, and create a digitally-facing organization that can compete in a tech-driven landscape.