It's no use letting your ignorance, laziness, or even shame, stand in the way of learning to code. I possessed all three in abundance, until this week I took myself along to a Coding for Digital Professionals course (shock horror, it's run by Econsultancy in London).
The stuff I learned, and the geocities-eat-your-heart-out website I created, got me thinking about all the points in a marketer's life where coding knowledge comes in handy.
I'll start with some simple tech info, but read on if you want to see the website I built.
Thanks in large part to the popularity of the open-source model, companies of all shapes and sizes have access to technologies that would have cost six and seven figures to develop in-house a half a decade ago.
From high-performance data stores to countless software libraries, there are plenty of open-source technologies that make building a sophisticated web-based service far less costly and time-consuming than it would have been.
If you're hoping to cash in on the tablet and smartphone revolution, there's good news and bad news. The good news: internet usage on tablet and smartphone devices continues to surge, creating significant new opportunities in the process. The bad news: expectations are high.
Whether you have a dedicated mobile site or have invested in a responsive design, consumers expect your website to load within seconds on their tablets and smartphones. If it doesn't, you just might have to kiss a sale goodbye.
Your website could be a visually-stunning conversion machine, but its appearance and functionality won't matter much if it takes too long to load. That's because web users are increasingly impatient and their impatience is likely to continue to grow as tablet and mobile web usage skyrockets.
Unfortunately, the list of things that can cause users to flee a website is long, and in many instances, any one of them can be enough to turn a new customer into a lost opportunity.
The past several weeks haven't been kind to Facebook. Its long-anticipated IPO was nothing short of a disaster, and since its public debut, the company's stock has been battered.
Clearly, finding investor friends on Wall Street hasn't been an easy task for the world's largest social network, and it may discover that finding retail friends on Main Street won't be any easier after site outages last week left some ecommerce sites in a lurch.
Flash might not be dead, but Adobe is acting like it knows it's past its prime.
Case in point: the company ditched Flash for mobile late last year, and is increasingly hedging its bets with investments in standards-based web technologies like HTML5.
Native mobile apps may still be the best way to deliver mobile applications that provide rich, enjoyable experiences, but there is a place for the mobile web, and in many cases, it is increasingly promising.
Technically, however, many challenges remain. The number of mobile devices and platforms grows by the day, and capabilities often differ significantly.
A relatively large number of publishers, particularly those running 'blogs', rely on third-party services to power the comments on their websites.
From Facebook Comments to Disqus, there is no shortage of options that enable publishers to offer commenting functionality without having to implement it themselves.
While not the most technically complex functionality to implement, there are a number of reasons publishers might choose to outsource comments, ranging from spam control to identity management.
LinkedIn may not be the same kind of social network, but leading up to its IPO, it's trying to take a few pages from Facebook's playbook.
Recently, it launched new features around its share button, similar in nature to the Like button. And yesterday, it announced a new LinkedIn Platform, complete with Plugins that resemble Facebook's Social Plugins.
Gawker's recent launch of a new design may prove to be one of the worst redesign launches in the history of the internet. It not only sparked an outcry from users, but let to a massive drop in traffic for one of the internet's most popular publishers.
In the face of what can only be described as an online publisher's worst nightmare, Nick Denton, the outspoken head of Gawker, has been unusually silent. Until now.
In an email he sent to staff, he admits that "the transition was definitely more bruising for readers and our own staff than
it needed to be" and discusses what is being done to rectify the situation.