Why should I learn this?

Software development is as much a language as is English or Mandarin Chinese. When you consider that software development is an integral part of almost any business plan, it can be far easier to understand how and where to improve your company if you are familiar with its basics. This allows you to, in essence, speak the same language as your developers. CEOs with a combination of technical and managerial skills are much more likely to maximize the chances of success for their company. Consider the failed launch of healthcare.gov – its leaders did not have a fundamental understanding of technology and how software is developed.  Instead of implementing an iterative process to develop the health care coverage website, the government decided to simply publish a laundry list of required features, and then wait till the end to test how everything would fit together.

Whenever possible, try to balance managing your business plan with software development time. You do not need to be a master coder. Instead, aim to learn the basic terminology so you can efficiently converse with developers, as well as effectively convey your vision for your website, database, front- and back-ends, etc.

How can I learn these basics?

There are several ways to familiarize yourself with software development, including attending a coding boot camp or utilizing MOOCs to learn at a pace that suits your schedule. You can also purchase a guide, such as either of these recommended titles. Ultimately, it is best to learn by doing some coding yourself, even if it is creating a rudimentary webpage or making a java program that simply outputs, “hello, world!”

What content should I prioritize in my learning?

he field of software development is broad, with a vast number of applications. As you explore it, consider focusing on these items:

Wireframe sketches. Wireframe sketches can help you mock up user interfaces (or UIs), as visuals are a much better tool than a list of features when speaking with developers.
Ticket-tracking systems. Programs like Asana, Basecamp, and JIRA enable you to manage internal and external software development issues.
Back-end and front-end operations. One especially useful thing to know is the difference between back-end and front-end operations. It is also crucial to learn to recognize which features are most important to your core business strategy. There will always be features that you can add on to the back- and/or front-end, and not all of them will be mission-critical. Consider implementing a priority system to help you manage this aspect of software development.
Basic UI design. In our digital era, it is also crucial to understand the central tenets of UI design for different platforms – for instance, desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Different screen sizes and different user experiences (i.e. keyboard and mouse vs. touchscreen alone) dictate different navigation systems and visual layouts.
Basic web development. Back-end code determines the front-end functionality and visual layout of a website, which can make learning it a valuable endeavor.
Whether you prefer to learn in-person, remotely, or through the independent aid of a book, choose the method that works best for you and your schedule, and focus on the above areas. This basic mastery of software development will ultimately assist your company in any number of areas – in advertising and marketing, in lead generation and tracking, in product development, in recruitment, etc.

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Prima Business Solutions is a software development company specialised in designing business efficiency solutions and web-based applications.

Our business efficiency and automation software solutions make your organisation more profitable and give you a massive competitive edge. They are designed bespoke to your exact requirements and business vision.

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