## #coding and #sql c/o @codecademy

A couple of years ago, I saw this blog from Wade Foster about what it takes to be a “Full Stack Marketer”. This might be one of the most influential things I’ve ever read for the class. Some things have changed, but I think most of it is still relevant. Scroll down to #17 and Wade writes:

A marketer who can get their hands dirty will be much more effective than one that always has to lean on a developer. Being able to edit the copy directly via HTML {or} reposition an element on the page via CSS will let a marketer iterate quicker without distracting the development team.

I’m still not entirely sure what “iterate” means there, but whatever, it sounds classy.

Coding is becoming a big deal and coding instruction is becoming a big business. Read this article from Bloomberg Businessweek that was published earlier this month about the rise of coding boot camps. The tuition price might seem extraordinarily high to you. Think about why it might actually be a pretty good deal for the students.

Now, I think that you guys have experience with some programming in your MIS classes. What I would like for you to do for Tuesday is try out two platforms that help people learn to code. First, go to Codecademy, sign up and register FOR FREE. When you get to the learn page scroll down below the fold and find the section entitled “Language Skills” and click on “HTML & CSS”. It looks like this:Codecademy HTML and CSS

When you start, take a screen shot that shows the time. (If you don’t know how to do this … figure it out.) After two hours stop, then take another screen shot of the time so we can see how far you progressed.

The second thing I want you to do is go to Squarespace (should be familiar to you thanks to all of their native advertising), sign up FOR A FREE account and spend half an hour creating an e-commerce page. For inspiration check out the website of Christina Fagan, Chief Knitting Officer of Shit That I Knit whom we spoke to earlier this quarter, she built the page on Squarespace. In your blog, include the screenshots from your Codecademy session, the link to your Squarespace page and write answers to the following questions:

  1. Why do you think coding is a good skill for a beginning digital marketer?
  2. What was the experience like using Codecademy?
  3. What are some of the positives and negatives you found using Squarespace?

In the second half of class, we’re going to discuss coding with DigiMark alumna Lizzi Jackson. Some of you met her on Friday at the comScore XMC Case Competition. That website that you just clicked on which she uses in her role as Miss Washington 2016 is her old DigiMark blog, which she has continued using. (Here is her last blog post from her quarter.) She’s really interested in promoting STEM education and knows how important coding skills are and how easy they are to obtain.

We have an extra couple of days this quarter so I decided to try something new and do a lesson around SQL.  “What’s SQL?”, you ask. Well, according to this website I just learned about called Wikipedia  “SQL  is a special-purpose programming language designed for managing data held in a relational database management system(RDBMS).”

Great, well why should you care about it? Data is incredibly important for marketing generally and digital marketing specifically and very few beginning marketers understand “how the sausage gets made“.

Recently, I discovered this blog post from the former CMO of MOZ, Jamie Steven (@jamies) entitled “Every Marketer Should Be Technical”. You’ll notice a lot of things, we’ve talked about this quarter and some other things we have not yet, but one of the things you will notice is the first skill listed in this graphic is “databases and sql”.

Technical Mktg Blog Post_026

The importance of SQL was brought up to me again by other digital marketers I’ve spoken to over the last year. Many of them told me that the ability to do their own SQL queries would definitely get an entry level candidate noticed.

Don’t believe me? Read this:

Why Learning SQL Will Change Your Life

And this:

Why Every Startup Marketer Needs to Know SQL


What’s really exciting is our friends at Codecademy recently added a section on SQL right here. For Thursday, complete the three hour lesson then blog about companies that you have discovered that use SQL in their marketing and why you think it would be a beneficial skill to master. Have a great weekend.

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