Leaders should learn to code – and we’re here to teach them

Across the world, business is going digital. In every market, in every industry. As digital transformation shapes tomorrow’s economies and opportunities, one thing is abundantly clear: code is the language of the future. And if you want to be an effective leader, you’ll need to learn to speak it.

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The future of your business is digital. That’s not a prediction – that’s a statement of fact. Consumers have embraced digital technology. They live their lives online and they expect to do so comfortably. Businesses are making the same transition. Digital services are the new frontier. There are almost no major businesses whose success is not at least partially dependent on apps and data. And the digital transformation is still only just getting started.

To maintain your competitive advantage in tomorrow’s market, you’ll need to develop strong digital value propositions.

The implications are pretty straightforward. To maintain your competitive advantage in tomorrow’s market, you’ll need to develop strong digital value propositions. You’ll not only need to increase your IT investments, but also structure them wisely. In other words, you’ll need to understand how digital value is created in the first place. And that means learning to code.

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Why you should learn to code

You might wonder: why coding? Isn’t understanding IT good enough? After all, the CEO at the helm of an automotive manufacturing company doesn’t need to know how to build a car themselves. And that’s true, in a general sense. But it’s not about building the car, is it? It’s about understanding what it’s made of and how that comes together.

In essence, IT is the big picture. It encompasses both infrastructure and software. But these dimensions are complementary, so you need to have a good grasp of both. Code is the DNA that defines what your software does, and your programmers are the ones who bring that code to life. If you don’t really get how they do that, you won’t be able to manage them effectively. You won’t have an intuitive sense of the realities they face and how those might impact the digital side of your business. And that can seriously limit your ability to compete in today’s digital-driven world.

After all, it’s no coincidence that a tech giant like Netflix is able to delight its users with amazing digital experiences. They’re a digital native. They eat, sleep and dream code. Instead of treating their recommendation engine as a black box, they encourage their coders to do the research and take their time to do it right. That’s why they’re able to build smarter features: because they’re writing smarter code. And that’s what you should be doing as well. It’s not enough to know that companies like Netflix are successful – you need to understand how they’re successful. And understanding the logic behind coding, really grasping how it works and what its place should be inside your own company, that’s the key. That’s what will allow you to hone and maintain your competitive edge.

Coding Crash Course workshop - by Accenture

Insight into coding will help you grow

In a very real sense, code is the lifeblood flowing through your company’s veins. By gaining a better understanding of what coding is and how it works, you’ll gain a better understanding of your company. You’ll understand what the risks are and be able to make smarter decisions. You’ll be able to help your teams create products and services that are better, safer and more stable, which will delight your clients and strengthen your cybersecurity posture. You’ll appreciate the benefits of quality code and you’ll know that the time it takes to produce it is time well spent.

When you learn how to code, you learn how to create.

But there’s also a more personal side to this. When you learn how to code, you learn how to create. You get a chance to build something new in an entirely new way. That’s an exhilarating feeling, like stepping into a new world. It changes your outlook in a fundamental sense, transforming you from a user into a builder.

That builders’ spirit is essential to your success and the growth of your company. After all, as a CEO, you can’t really afford to be a user. That would make it very difficult to build an inspiring, future-proof business. But if you understand how new digital services come into existence, if you really grasp the creative process, you can translate that into your own company and seize new opportunities.

Leaders should learn to code - Coding Crash Course newspaper - by Accenture

Start building momentum with our Coding Crash Course

At Accenture, we understand how important it is to embark on a digital transformation journey with enough momentum. We know how big of a difference it makes when your leadership team is energized and filled with a shared sense of purpose – when everybody hits the ground running.

We’re also passionate about coding. We know what it feels like to create a functional app from scratch, to build a genuinely useful digital tool with our own hands and minds. We want to share that feeling with you and help you get a head start on your digital transformation. That’s why we developed our Coding Crash Course, a unique four-hour workshop designed to teach leaders the secrets of coding.

Now, we don’t want to turn you into a programmer and we’re not going to overload you with theoretical information. That would defeat the purpose. Instead, we want you to experience coding hands-on. The Coding Crash Course will keep you on the edge of your seat, delivering a high-energy, high-speed interactive experience that is tailored to your business. For four hours, we’ll immerse you in the world of coding, giving you access to all the insights and tools you need to experience what it’s like to be a programmer. And when you’re done, you’ll walk away with an app you built from scratch.

Leaders should learn how to code - Coding Crash Course - by Accenture

Join us for an exhilarating leap into the future

From the outside, coding seems distant and unattainable. Many people tend to think of it in abstract terms, like something mysterious or even mystical. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Coding is more a way of thinking than anything else. It’s a way of approaching challenges in a structured, reproducible manner. And it’s much more accessible than you might think. After all, typing formulas into an Excel spreadsheet and sharing the document with other users is in itself a type of coding – and that’s hardly a complicated process.

No, understanding how to code is not beyond you. There is no great, impenetrable veil of mystery around it. And while the skill may be hard to master, it’s astonishingly easy to learn – not to mention rewarding. If you want to see for yourself how tomorrow’s added value is made and understand how to lead your business into the digital future, you should definitely sign up for our Coding Crash Course.

Authors: Dick van Egmond Jasper Küller