Why I'm learning to code

May 8th, 2020

A lot of my family and friends assume I know how to code because of my job is 'digital'. My job is also in the brewing industry, but that doesn't mean I make good beer. My practical coding knowledge is basic and my homebrewing skills are less than basic. They are just bad.

As a Product Manager, I've worked in tech since 2014 and accumulated 6 years of employed technical experience, working across hardware, firmware and software. I've had the privilege of working with some amazing people, and they are mostly developers by trade. From the gambling industry to brewing, some of my biggest insights and life lessons come from talented developers and their ability to translate complex problems into code and at the same time explaining how it works clearly. I've always wanted to be like that. These people inspire me.

A Product Manager should be able to operate in a space that connects developers, users and the business. I've always been better understanding the goals for customers and business needs. I work well (mostly)with developers and my experience has built up an internal knowledge base of troubleshooting, predictions and development language. Coding, however, and being able to establish the best technical approach has never been my strong point.

Back in the early days of my current role, I was the sole digital member. I could build websites in HTML, CSS and basic Js, but mainly from templates. I'd do all the UI design and product specifications but could not take it further than that. We always required external development. I'd get imposter syndrome. It felt awful.

The team has grown significantly since and the team can now take designs and development to the next level. They are amazing at it. It makes me want to try harder.

This brings me to why I want to code. To be better at doing stuff. Real stuff with real, tangible results. To put my money where my mouth is, and in turn, be a better Product Manager.

Ramsay has been integral to this week one journey and also the inspiration to get started. He is a problem solver with a creative mind and I love that. Ramsay uses code to take the things in his head and turn into things you can interact within the real-world. This is pretty much where I want to be. Code of me is about empowerment. For so long I've avoided the commitment to sit down and get better at writing code. The next 100 days is about establishing the foundations to take ideas from paper into an actual product.

The projects I aim to achieve after 100 days are listed here. You can follow my daily updates leading up to the 9th August 2020 here. Thanks for reading.