The push for more people, especially women to join the tech force has gained momentum over the last 5 years. Advocacy and activeness from communities such as Girls Who Code and Girls In Tech as well as university scholarship incentives have helped keep this cause in motion. While many are smart to expose young women to coding at a young age, I often feel that those currently in college or have full-time careers believe that coding requires too much effort, takes up too much time, does not aid in their long-term goals in any way, or that it is too late to learn.
It’s not too late and if you’re in digital, it’s always worth it.
Digital marketing is growing in popularity, scope, and complexity. We are immersed in technology every day that changes every day, why not understand how it works? While the push for more women currently in college or with jobs is alive and well through communities such as Women in Technology, more women in this field should seek and jump at any opportunity to learn or just understand code.
I started coding my junior year of high school at Savannah Arts Academy where I majored in Communications. I thought nothing of it as I learned the basics HTML and CSS and remember being surprised at how many free resources like W3School were out there. Then, senior year I took AP Computer Science because I didn’t want to take a traditional science class. As I learned Java, I remember finding it neat how similar coding languages can be. Once at the University of Georgia I completed the New Media Institute certificate where I took two coding classes using HTML, CSS, PHP, and Swift.I now also TA the beginner’s coding class. While I am by no means as good as a computer science major and do not code every day, but my background in tech has helped me pursue my passion for digital marketing.
With these skills, I communicate better with more technical positions in a company because I understand their job. I also feel less restricted in my marketing plans because I have a better understanding of what technology can do and how to leverage it. I can create betas and wireframes of apps and websites to showcase my ideas more. I can be exposed to more parts of a company because I can do more than just a WordPress website. I feel like I am taken more seriously in the workplace because I understand more than how to leverage social media.
After comparing statistics from a few websites, I’ve gathered that men currently make up 65% – 70% of the digital marketing field worldwide and even larger percentages in countries such as India. Imagine the impact women having this extra skill would have on this statistic. As I’ve networked with many professionals in the industry whether it’s networking events in Atlanta through the University of Georgia’s Digital Marketing Department or live Twitter conversations through @AdAge, I have been continuously told that basic coding knowledge will soon be a requirement of the industry. As a coder, digital marketer, and woman, I am a strong advocate for more people, especially women regardless of age, learning how to code and finding a way to use it to reach their goals.