Essential skills for newbies in the tech industry
Philip Ellison 24 April, 2013 at 08:04
In a blog post for TechCrunch earlier this year, Aditya Mahesh wrote; “It’s challenging to be a non-technical person at a technical company.” Especially when that technical company just so happens to be the global leader of search. An associate product marketing manager at Google, Mahesh elaborated that while he learned a lot in theory from reputable figures while pursuing his Business degree, he graduated without the practical skills he really needed: “my biggest regret is not taking more courses which actually taught me to build, design and create.”
That initial blog post was designed as a guide for individuals who might be interested in playing a business role in the tech industry, but lack certain specific competencies. It has since evolved into the mission statement behind MBAx, a free-to-use education tool which helps people to select courses that will equip them with the skills that are vital to a tech career.
Founded alongside Mahesh’s Google colleague Saleh Altayyar, MBAx is navigable by a series of career paths, including business development, accounting, HR, marketing and sales. Within each of these sections is a breakdown of the skills necessary to succeeding, and links to the most relevant online courses.
This selective approach to practical learning makes MBAx an ideal resource for entrpreneurial students and graduates, and professionals who are interested in a change of direction. It may also prove helpful among people who are passionate about their field but need a little help in getting to grips with the nitty gritty tech side.
After his first year at Google, Mahesh realised that while he had acquired an immense amount of knowledge, he could have progressed even further had he possessed the right foundations. His top tips for beginners include:
- Learn to code. Mahesh advises dipping your toe into HTML and CSS, as even the most basic grasp of these languages will enable you to create and structure landing pages and emails beautifully.
- If you can’t code, then mock-up what you want to build. Photoshop is especially helpful in this regard, as it gives developers a clear, visual brief with which to work.
- Get analytical. If you’re a creative type, immersing yourself in the spreadsheets and incomprehensible figures of Google Analytics can feel like going back to the classroom. But it is only by gathering, tracking and examining data that you will be able to form an accurate picture of what your visitors and customers actually want.
If you’re interested in up-scaling your tech savvy, visit MBAx.me.