Software literacy as a crucial workplace skill

Software literacy as a crucial workplace skill

What we have been seeing in the last few years is employees with coding skills are becoming more desirable for employers and are redefining traditional roles in areas such as marketing.

With a new age of marketers termed 'growth hackers', a hybrid of traditional marketer and coder, this trend will continue to filter out to other roles in business as the proliferation of technology continues to evolve. Technology is not an industry as such, but an integrated part of all successful businesses in any industry.

Although I don't expect everyone needs to be an expert coder, I can foresee a time where an understanding of coding is essential to many roles in the workforce. Those with a technical understanding, now and in the future, will be at a huge advantage to those without one.

However, many organisations that are starting to seek out skilled software programmers and coders are beginning to see there is a shortage in this area throughout Australia. A majority of employers find, when a job opportunity is advertised, most applicants are those on working visas.

Although these applicants are fully qualified for the job and are highly skilled there can be some challenges involved. This could include challenges such as the employee’s time in Australia is limited to the duration of the visa, meaning a highly skilled employee on a working visa may only be available to work for a company for a year or two before they are forced to move. This results in high employment turn over for the business and the forced loss of a fully trained employee.

The growing demand for local, skilled developers is unfortunately not met with an equal supply and many businesses are finding this challenging to say the least. Introducing software literacy as a crucial workplace skill, and including it in educational curriculums, may be the solution to this problem.

Introducing software literacy into universities, for instances in marketing and business departments, would ensure there is enough talent in Australia to drive innovation, business growth and profits.

Knowing multiple languages is considered to be an advantage in business – especially if you are required to do business internationally. Programming or software coding is a form of language and being software literate is the future for workplaces.

Shaun Dobbin is chief executive of Gomeeki.

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