Recently it seems the pendulum is swinging back on “everyone needs to learn to code” mantra that’s been so prevalent. I’ve seen several articles in the vein of, “why learning to code is probably a waste of your time”. Now if you actually read the articles, most articulated that while knowing to code is probably unnecessary, understanding from a high level how a modern application works is not. Hopefully, the link-baity titles won’t convince those looking to get into startups that technical know-how is optional. That would be a mistake — knowing basic technical skills is super important for anyone interested in getting involved with startups.
Technology is the engine that is powering the recent startup explosion, so If you want to work in startups today than you need at least a basic understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes. This is true regardless of the industry you want to work in; fundamentally all B2B, B2C, SaaS, eCommerce, Hardware, Marketplaces etc. companies today are technology companies. Now I’m not talking about possessing enough knowledge to be a junior developer or even remotely close to that much. But you should be able to write basic HTML/CSS, have played around with an OOP (object oriented-programming) language like Ruby or Python, have some knowledge of how databases work and possesses a basic understanding of how all those pieces come together to form a full-stack application. In my opinion, these should be considered table stakes for any startup job applicant, but it’s particularly important if you’re looking to join an earlier stage company.