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Why Tech is more than just Coding.

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Sheekha Singh debunks the myth that the tech industry is only for men, geeks, and nerds. She shares examples of careers in tech, that don’t involve Coding.

In February of 2021, I published a book titled ‘The IT Girl: 3 Steps to Find Career Options for Young Women in Tech’, for which I conducted a survey in order to know what women all over the world in tech used to think about tech, and how has their opinion changed after working in tech.

I was not shocked by the responses. One of the most common responses that stood out was that girls and young women think that IT/Tech is all about coding. It is a common misconception that the tech industry is only for geeks and nerds and I would be happy to debunk this myth.

First things first, IT is NOT ALL CODING. But wait, there’s more: IT is cool! We need more women here!

Coding

9 years ago I used to think that IT was only for men and that it involved only programming languages. I was wrong. Everybody tells you that tech is a great field to get into, but nobody points out the multiple options available for people who don’t want to code.

Tech is a vast field. Many departments contribute to the success of a software application. For example, you could be great at writing software, but if you cannot market the app, your exceptional coding skills will be good for nothing. Coding is just one part of IT.

Creating and launching an app requires many areas of responsibility, and some of these areas need skills that do not involve coding. There is the designing, testing, sales and marketing, operations, delivery, and many other departments that do not involve coding.

You could turn your hobby into your career and your passion into a full-time job in tech. A Social Media Marketing Manager is a proper paid role in the tech industry today. This would not have been possible 9 years ago.

Imagine designing an app that is easy to use for a 60-year-old. The design part wouldn’t require coding. It needs creativity and ability to fit data in a small screen and make it presentable and easy enough to use.

UI/UX design and graphics is one such area. There is recruiting which also is a part of the tech industry. Tech recruiters possess a mixture of different skills and none of them involve programming.

Think of the tech industry as a huge project that starts at point A and ends at point Z. In between, there are multiple stages and steps that are performed in order to get to the end result and coding is just one part of it.

The IT industry has gone through a huge change and it still is changing rapidly. With millennials now constituting more than 50% of the workforce, switching jobs has become the norm. You could switch from being a sales rep in a hotel to being a core member of the software sales department in a tech company.

Not everything in tech involves coding

There is a lack of awareness about the diverse careers possible in tech that do not involve coding. These jobs require a different set of skills and knowing how to code wouldn’t help. Imagine you are marketing an online tool like Zoom or Skype to a middle school teacher who teaches English or Physical fitness. Would you be able to sell your app to a teacher who just wants to take an online class to teach his/her students if you began talking about what tech stack was used for the backend, front end, and the platform where the app is hosted?

No, right? If a company doesn’t have the right set of people with exceptional sales and marketing skills then, irrespective of the quality of the application, selling it and getting it out in the market would be next to impossible.

Take social media for instance, even Instagram has an Instagram account. With the growth in independent small businesses, there is a need for social presence for every organisation, big or small. Handling customer issues via social media, responding to texts, and posting about the new features/services being offered, makes or breaks any tech company. It is all about the image of the brand and knowing what to post and when is like pushing a boulder up the hill.

There are organisations where a scrum master is paid more than an engineer who knows to code. There is a demand for collaboration more than ever especially, in times like these, where remote working is the norm. Handling projects, collaborating with multiple teams, resolving conflicts is a very special skill, and being a scrum master and performing these tasks day in and day out is no joke.

These were just a few examples but there are a lot of roles that require a completely different, non-technical skill set in the IT world. There are various domains and requirements that differ, but the underlying responsibilities remain the same. Most of these jobs pay equally well and are in demand.

I urge you to think about what you are passionate about and search for a position in the tech world that fits your skill set and build a career around it because tech is not just coding anymore.

So, ladies, if next time someone tells you they work in IT, do not imagine them sitting in front of a black screen with pink and green lines of code on it. It is high time you started thinking of mixing your career with tech!


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