Become the expert you need11 Oct 2013
I had a Drill Instructor who once told me something very profound,
“Son, no one you meet in this life is ever too dumb or stupid to learn or master how to do something, only to be too disinterested or lazy not to follow through with it” – Staff Sergeant Clark
In retrospect what he was teaching me was that with enough will and effort I could learn or potentially master any skill set whether that was shooting a weapon with pin point accuracy or learning complex physics or mathematics.
Human beings are goal driven creatures, we only learn what we need to learn to do the thing we want to do, if we have no interested in something then it’s almost impossible for anyone to convince us to learn it let alone master it.
I run into this problem a lot with project managers and start up founders, they are looking for a developer to build them a site or an app that will take their idea to the next level.
They tell me all of the details of their vision and are so passionate about their idea but lack the expertise to pull it off. What I tell them usually goes on deaf ears, I tell them to learn the skills needed to build their prototype themselves.
Before I got into Computer Science I was a student of Business, I grew with a father who was in marketing so I got taught early on in life how businesses operate and work. When other dads were taking their sons to little league games, my dad was taking me to trade shows and business conferences.
When we got a computer as a child he would put limits on the things I could do with it making sure that my focus was always on learning about the machine rather than just simply consuming it. Today I have him to thank for my love of all things Tech.
But the Marines gave me focus, they taught me that when you need something done in your field of expertise then you become the best at what you do above anyone else.
Though I’m not advocating that everyone become software engineers, I am recommending that if you’re going to get into the tech space, aka build a very specialized niche application or app from scratch then you’d better understand the complexities of the business you’re entering.
Every business needs a website, they will all need computers and IT systems, all of these things can always be outsourced and it won’t hurt your business one bit. Yet if you’re planning on doing more than just that, if you’re planning on building an entire business around technology then you need to learn to code or understand enough to do it yourself.
I don’t plan on coding forever, though I wish I could, one day I’ll have to get away from the keyboard and run a much larger piece of my business and the puzzle than I do now but that’s okay because at least I’ll know what’s possible and doable with my engineering background.
This ideology can be applied to any industry but it resonates personally for me in the tech space because it impacts so many other industries in the area of innovation.
If you’re trying to create a technology start up and you’re still looking for that awesome developer that’s going to create the prototype for your idea, look within and remember that you’re never too stupid to learn to code your idea, you don’t have to master it but you should deeply understand the business you are getting into.