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Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy



Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy PDF

Author: Neel Mehta , Aditya Agashe

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Genres:

Publish Date: September 20, 2017

ISBN-10: 1976182190

Pages: 345

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

I’ve always been fascinated by technology. If you ask my parents, they’ll tell you how I spent countless hours messing around on my family’s Windows 95 PC as a toddler. As I grew older, my excitement for tech only intensified. I would spend hours watching demos and reviews of the latest gadgets. I knew that my dream job would be something in the tech space, but I wasn’t really sure what it’d be.

As I walked through the job fair in my freshman year of college, I was captivated by the tech companies surrounding me. As I talked with the recruiters, they asked me if I was a “frontend” or “backend” developer and if I was more skilled with Python or JavaScript. Since I majored in applied economics, I had never learned what any of those terms meant, much less how to respond without sounding stupid.

Fast forward to three years later, when I was a senior: I had job offers from Facebook, Microsoft, and Google as a Product Manager and Product Marketing Manager. I still have yet to take a single computer science (CS) course or have the slightest idea of how to code. The difference between now and when I was wandering around that career fair is this: I taught myself how technology works at a high level and learned the relevant industry jargon so I could converse intelligently with engineers and other technical employees. With this knowledge, I could develop a much stronger understanding of the business strategies that drive decisions at major tech companies. This book is a compilation of all the knowledge I believe you need to get a non-developer role at a technology company Does everyone really need to take a computer science class? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told, “you should take a computer science course in college.” I ultimately decided not to. The key reason? I am not passionate about being a developer. Instead, I have always loved coming up with product ideas and developing business strategies that would make the products viable and commercially successful. Don’t get me wrong, it would be cool to be able to develop my ideas myself, but I realized early on that the actual coding wasn’t what fascinated me. I also know that, personally, I would forget things like code syntax really quickly if I didn’t apply the skills regularly.

I asked some of my mentors what they thought the value of taking a computer science class was. They explained that whether or not I ended up remembering how to write functional code, a stronger understanding of the fundamentals of technology and computer science would be very useful in life, regardless of what career I decided to pursue. What these conversations taught me was that coding wasn’t the most crucial skill set for businessminded young professionals like myself. Instead, the key skill was being able to think like an engineer and understand technical implications and limitations when making business decisions.

Weighing up the costs and benefits of taking a CS class, I saw a lot of upside but also recognized considerable potential downside. Although I knew the technical perspective would be very valuable, I realized taking a computer science class would require a substantial time commitment given my lack of familiarity in the subject area. It could also potentially hurt my GPA, which could adversely affect my career opportunities. As someone who would be taking a CS course for subject matter insight rather than to develop actual hard coding skills, it didn’t seem worth it. Thus, I decided to look for alternative ways to gain a technical perspective.

I want to state that I never intended to write this book — I intended to buy it.

Does everyone really need to take a computer science class? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told, “you should take a computer science course in college.” I ultimately decided not to. The key reason? I am not passionate about being a developer. Instead, I have always loved coming up with product ideas and developing business strategies that would make the products viable and commercially successful. Don’t get me wrong, it would be cool to be able to develop my ideas myself, but I realized early on that the actual coding wasn’t what fascinated me. I also know that, personally, I would forget things like code syntax really quickly if I didn’t apply the skills regularly.

I asked some of my mentors what they thought the value of taking a computer science class was. They explained that whether or not I ended up remembering how to write functional code, a stronger understanding of the fundamentals of technology and computer science would be very useful in life, regardless of what career I decided to pursue. What these conversations taught me was that coding wasn’t the most crucial skill set for businessminded young professionals like myself. Instead, the key skill was being able to think like an engineer and understand technical implications and limitations when making business decisions.

Weighing up the costs and benefits of taking a CS class, I saw a lot of upside but also recognized considerable potential downside. Although I knew the technical perspective would be very valuable, I realized taking a computer science class would require a substantial time commitment given my lack of familiarity in the subject area. It could also potentially hurt my GPA, which could adversely affect my career opportunities. As someone who would be taking a CS course for subject matter insight rather than to develop actual hard coding skills, it didn’t seem worth it. Thus, I decided to look for alternative ways to gain a technical perspective.

I want to state that I never intended to write this book — I intended to buy it.


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