In the article, “Sorry, College Grads, I Probably Won’t Hire You,” Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, an ad tech company in Manhattan, made a provocative case for why despite the plethora of computing jobs that will be available over the next decade (120,000 as of his count), the 40,000 computer science majors who will graduate from American colleges during that same time frame are going to struggle when they should have smooth sailing.
In Kirk’s eyes, it comes down to one thing: the inability to speak computer code.
He goes on to say that this doesn’t mean you have to become a top-notch programmer, but you must be able to speak the language and understand “how the back end of the business works” even if you aren’t necessarily going for a technical position with companies like Kirk’s.
With software engineers and developers being in highest demand across the computing field, and with close to 1 million of them currently employed, it is going to be important to communicate in their lingo.
Hiring managers want all staff members to understand what makes their company tick…literally.
The sentiments here mimic those in the CNN Money report our company co-founder Stephen Van Vreede reblogged earlier this week: “Why getting into tech isn’t as easy as you think” and those we addressed in our post “Suddenly Everyone’s a Techie These Days“. Essentially, gone are the days when only techies spoke “Geek.” In today’s tech industry, everyone from sales to marketing to operations needs to be able to see the bigger picture. And that bigger picture boils down to coding.
So, what is Kirk’s advice? “Get acquainted with APIs. Dabble in a bit of Python.” He suggests learning at least two programming languages, basically “just enough of the grammar and the logic of computer languages.”