You’ve asked the development team for so many favors, you feel like you’ll have to bribe them soon. 

But even if you discover the secret recipe to the world’s best chocolate chip cookies, it won’t help.

The development team simply has too many projects and not enough time.

Stop sitting around and waiting for help. If you know how to code, you can do it all yourself. And you won’t have to rely on a web development team anymore.

Become the Doer, Not the Designator

The possibilities are endless once you learn to code. Here are a few tasks you’re designating now that you will be able to handle if you know basic coding.

  • Build landing pages. The ability to manipulate and iterate web pages makes it a lot easier to ship new campaigns, or at least to get the ball rolling on a project that gets handed off to a developer for polishing.
  • Learn what others do. There is no secret sauce to marketing. It’s all out there. But it takes time to parse through all the information. Let’s say you want to know what keywords your competitors are using in their headings. Once you know how to code, you can use the Inspect Element tool to look at the front end of any website. All information is now at your fingertips.
  • Set up a prototype. You have great ideas on a new website or app for your company. Coding helps you build a rough version of that idea to present to others, all while saving time and resources.
  • Add content to existing websites. Simple changes can be made easily with your coding skills. You won’t have to wait around to edit a few lines of content or change the text on a call-to-action button, for instance.
  • Personalize a mass email marketing campaign. There are apps helping personalize and scale email marketing campaigns. But too often, they aren’t as intricate as you’d like them to be. Knowing how to code will help you better personalize your emails so you can achieve the best ROI for your campaign.

And that’s just a start. Think of the types of emails you write on a daily basis. Free-trial emails, templated newsletter emails, and cancellation emails, to name a few. All these emails are impacted by actions engineers take. But with coding skills, you’re in the driver’s seat on making these emails or fixing them if they run amuck.

Even if you don’t become a daily coder, you’ll still know what kind of effort goes into different requests to your development team. You can assess whether a request’s return is worth the investment. You’ll know how long it will take, how complex the task will be, and can assess whether it’s a good move to make such an adjustment given the manpower behind it.

What Languages Should You Learn?

Now that you understand all of the tasks you’ll be able to do yourself, the question is: where do you start? And how proficient do you need to be?

There is no need to quit your job to attend a coding boot camp this second.

But you’ll need to know the basics of several different coding languages in order to make an impact. So what languages do you need to know?

Even the developer community is at odds when it comes to determining which is the best language to know. Still, three remain on the top of every developer’s list. They are fundamental and the glue that holds the whole web together.

  • HTML. With this programming language, you can map images, input suggestions, highlight text, and define templates.
  • C. Let’s say you have a set of headings and subheadings in your document and you need to number them. C does this for you. It also lets you spice up your plain underlines, helps you manage unruly tables, and gets your text in shape.
  • Javascript. Java is used in a variety of projects, from landing pages to full-fledged apps.  

Apart from these three fundamental languages, Python is the fastest growing language for the last several years. It’s easy to learn and use, and rewards you early on with being able to perform high function tasks with few commands. 

It’s the go-to language for data analysis with a huge community backing it, so you can parse through many open libraries of code for what you need.

Where Can You Learn?

The web, of course. 

There are tons of free online resources available you can choose from. Codeacademy is free and approachable, with courses on many different languages. Springboard has a free beginner’s guide to front-end programming as well.

These resources will help, but practice makes perfect. Once you have the basics of a language down, set yourself a project. Try to build a blog or other website from scratch. Practice making as many landing pages as possible. 

You’ll quickly see how addicting coding can be—all while becoming a black belt in digital marketing.

Final Thoughts

You want to be a top-notch marketer in 2019 but it feels like climbing Mt. Everest blindfolded.

But the answer to edging out your competition might be in your coding skills.

So stop hitting the process wall and being a slave to the will of the development team. With these simple tips, you’ll move one step closer toward becoming a do-it-yourself marketer thriving in today’s digital world.

This post was written by Roger Maftean, a career writer at Zety. He specializes in tech and the workplace. In his spare time, he works on perfecting tacos to enjoy while watching Korean zombie movies.

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