—Rightly or wrongly, it's been said coders are a different breed, including those found in a digital marketing agency, like ours. I can only say that our lot are a perfectly normal bunch and that the previous statement only arises because the kind of training they go through—and the language they end up talking—seems impenetrable. And at first, development can often feel like an impervious dark art, practiced by people who've dedicated their lives to it since the age of 8. But it's not really too difficult to pick up the basics and push your digital marketing career forwards. So, if you've ever fancied picking up some development skills (or thought it might be useful to get a better understanding), here's a few resources to get you started.
Let’s begin with some nice, simple roads into understanding programming and what it’s all about. Nothing too heavy, no code to learn, just some simple, mobile based examples.
You’ve probably heard someone talk about algorithms (or maybe used the term yourself) without really knowing what the hell they are. You’ll have an idea, but you might be too embarrassed to ask someone if you’re right. If that’s you, this is what you need… Algorithms Explained and Animated.
Start with Bubble Sort and soon enough you’ll be an expert in the Page Rank and Message Authentication algorithms. I promise you, it’s quite fun!
As with most things on the web, Google have provided a good introduction with their Grasshopper app. Okay, it won't get you your first role in a digital marketing agency, but it’s an easy-to-use mobile app that takes you through the basics, gets you thinking about coding and helps you to understand how it all works. And that includes what happens when you make mistakes.
You can get started in minutes on your mobile and it’s more satisfying than playing Candy Crush.
If that piqued your interest and you’d like to learn more, Treehouse and Codecademy are great resources to help you develop your coding skills, hundreds of courses to take you from beginner to advanced in any number of coding disciplines. Treehouse costs £20 per month for a subscription, but you can get a taster with their free 7 day trial. Codeacademy has a free tier, with subscriptions starting at £15.99 a month.
PHP is the primary coding language at Creode. WordPress and Drupal are both written in PHP.
Here are a few beginners guides including a free code academy course:
Here are some resources for beginners:
You can get started with js without needing to install anything or build your own site. You just need your browser (I recommend Chrome or Firefox) and you can try things out on any site using the browser console (see below).
You can use the browser console / debugging tools for loads of things, from testing and debugging to benchmarking and audits. You’ll often find developers using it when building new features and trying to work out what causes a bug to occur.
Here are a couple of beginners guides around them using firefox and chrome, plus a couple of guides that dig a little deeper.
A really random one for everybody… Logic
If you’re not familiar with logic, it’s the place where philosophy meets maths and computing and dates back to the ancient Greeks (“of course it does” I hear you cry!).
To get an idea of what it’s all about, why not take this test, which Harry J. Gensler gives to his undergraduate logic students on their first day. It’s a bit of fun and harder than it looks. Ignore the design!
If that floats your boat, check out the Future Learn course on Logic and Critical Thinking. It’s free and will keep you entertained for 4 hours a week for 8 weeks.
These are trying times. But we’re sure we can all come out of the other side and start getting on with life again. And if we can help you get out the other side and your professional life is armed with a little more development knowledge, then we’ll be a very happy digital marketing agency, indeed. Of course, if there’s anything we can help you with, please don’t hesitate to give us a shout, but in the meantime, enjoying learning some new tricks.
Not ready to jump into the world of web development? Check our our curated digital marketing courses instead. There really is something for everyone.