Coding Basics For Marketplace Owners

Learning CSS, HTML or Javascript may not be one of your core competencies, but it should be within your wheelhouse. As a businessperson, you should be aware of every aspect of your business – you may not exactly learn to code, but you should know what the coders are doing.

Coding Is Easier Than Ever.

One of the basics of modern coding is learning that coding is easier than ever to learn. Top level platforms that function from libraries and intuitive formatting take away much of the need to learn an esoteric syntax. More and more, simply learning to think efficiently will translate into good code. An improvement in efficiency is great for any business. Any marketplace owner will benefit from the mental exercise.

You can take an MOOC or learn the basics from a coding basics book in your spare time. You may even be able to code some of the smaller effects of your digital marketplace on your own. Why delegate (and pay hundreds of dollars for) a website color change or the addition of a simple API when you can learn the skill for life for $50 or so?

Related: What Exactly Is The Sharing Economy?

Becoming Tech-Fluent.

Becoming fluent in coding means that you become more fluent in digital workflows. As a modern marketplace owner, you will likely be using industry standard programs in series with each other. You need to understand how information flows through your sales cart to your merchant account program into your digital accounting ledger. If you have proprietary elements, this workflow becomes even more important to learn.

Many industry standard programs are built to connect with each other automatically. You should learn these pathways, because you will be seeing them over and over again. They are built through code – learning code means that you will understand them when you see them.

Advancing On Opportunities.

There is very little original material under the sun these days. In most cases, your marketplace will be a patchwork of the best ideas from other marketplaces. This is perfectly alright, at least from a business standpoint. The nuances that you add will differentiate your brand from the pack. In the meantime, you will be able to build an efficient marketplace that actually works.

When you see something that you like from a competitor, understanding the coding behind it will help you to take it [read: steal it] more efficiently. More importantly, you will be able to modify the details so that your final product uses the original find as more of a template. Taking advantages of opportunities like these will shorten your time to market significantly. Your business will also be able to keep up with new technologies in the marketplace in real time.

Related: 6 Best Practices For Structuring A Marketplace

Supplementing Your Coders.

Do not worry about trying to keep up with your coders in terms of speed or efficiency. This is not the reason to learn coding. You are taking an interest in the subject to supplement their efforts from a strategic standpoint.

Your programming team should be coming back to you with new ideas from the marketplace as they occur. Your job is to filter through these ideas to see which ones apply to you. As excited as they may be about a new add-on or API, you still have the wherewithal to keep digital noise out of your sales funnel.

Yes, your performance is measured in clickthrough rates and conversions, not technical debt and module efficiency. However, you might be surprised at how much those coding metrics affect yours. You will be working with coding engineers and multiple programs as you build out your digital marketplace. Learn the basics so that you can direct the efforts of your programming team down the road of optimized efficiency.

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