10 things every non-coder should know about coding


Do you think coding is solely for coders? Think again! To make the most of business opportunities and minimise the digital divide, it is necessary for everyone to understand the language of technology – allowing marketing, IT and also agencies to have a common language with as little ambiguity as possible. Here are the 10 (surprisingly simple!) things that I believe any marketer – including all the way up to the CMO – should know about coding:

  1. What is an app?

An app is a computer program which performs a specific task. e.g. Google maps. The app accesses the hardware of the device the program is running on.

  1. What is a native app?

This is an app developed to run on a specific platform or device – usually to take advantage of the wider functionality available in that device or platform. For example, iOS apps are specifically for apple devices and available in the Apple app store.

  1. What is a web app?

A web app can run on any device from a web browser – usually making them simpler but limited in capability.

  1. What is HTML?

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is used to tell the web browser what the content of the page is. Most web pages are made up of content like headings, paragraphs, images, forms and so on. HTML5 has extended the power of web apps such that video and audio can all be launched from a web page – thereby bringing web apps closer to native apps. For example, HTML5 allows geolocation, camera and local storage to all be launched from a web page.

  1. What are HTML tags or semantic markup?

HTML tags are used by web crawlers to identify the contents of a web page. If a page is just plain text then a crawler has no way of knowing what is on the web page and therefore the page can’t be manipulated by search engine optimization. It’s basically just a simple language for the World Wide Web.

  1. What is CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

CSS defines the design and style of individual elements within an app’s programming. For instance, the size of the border, the font size, the colour, etc. It’s a way of masterminding the look and feel of a whole site so a design change can be made on many (or all) pages with one tiny change in one line of code.

  1. What is javascript?

Javascript is a programming language and it allows static web pages to be turned into apps – making them more interactive. Javascript is made up of variables, logic and functions.

  1. How do you add animation to an app?

In the past flash (animation software) was used for animation. This is no longer the case. Today developers can animate directly from the CSS.

  1. What is responsive design?

This is a new way of publishing online content so that the content responds to the available screen size of the device – providing an optimal viewing experience.

  1. What is the Open Graph standard?

The Open graph standard allows you to define what details from your website should be displayed on social sites when people share your website links on their profiles.

article image 18th aug

The code for the Mobile app I developed during the Decoded session

What else should marketers (and other non-coders) know about coding? Leave your comments below.


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“Thinking Aloud” reflects the emerging trends and varied outlook of the rapidly evolving internet and communication sector. An IAMAI publication, this is a part of the market education initiative of the association.

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