But do they? Do nontechnical entrepreneurs of digital start-ups need to learn code? Is understanding the intricacies of Django, or the difference between models, views and controllers, more important than learning how to sell your product or market your services? Among European entrepreneurs we polled, the answer is mixed.
On the one hand Ryan Gallagher, CEO of London-based Iovox, a voice-based platform and who writes code, was insistent. “Coding is a must,” he said. “If you are going to build a technology company, you should know what is possible. You can open a restaurant if you can’t cook, but not if you are the first and possibly only employee.”
But others were not so sure. While supportive of teaching children to code, Nick Halstead, chief technology officer of a big-data start-up near London and himself a coder, is unimpressed. “This new idea that ‘everyone’ should code is just because it is fashionable.