Europe must move beyond coding to compete


by 123FormBuilder


We recently mused about code clubs in a previous blog post. As we have continued to think about and research this we have become more convinced that things need to change. In fact we are so convinced that we have been talking to the media about it – you may have seen our recent press release.

At the heart of our argument is the fact the core skills of coding are easily replicable, either through the services that companies such as 123FormBuilder and other SaaS providers offer, or through the cheaper labour in the developing economies of China, India and others. So what we, as an economy, must do is look for truly skilled jobs in the digital economy.

Creating the data isn’t the problem – our global clients use our forms to arm themselves with lots of actionable data. It’s knowing what to do with the data that is now the required skill. Or as our CEO Florin Cornianu said in the press release:

“As more and more tools like 123FormBuilder become available, it is skills other than programming that will dominate in a few years’ time. Unless we acknowledge now that these skills are required, we are going to have a nation of coders but no one who knows what to do with the resulting data. It’s time for the post-developer role to be identified and nurtured.”

In the press release we quoted B2B Marketing research that talked about the skills gap that is opening up.We also spoke to Nick Flaherty who runs Bristol-based technology club DigiMakers. He said:

“We can’t compete with China and India when it comes to coding as a commodity, but what we can do is ensure today’s children are equipped with a range of skills that encompass science, technology and creativity.”

Emil Berthelsen, Principal Analyst at Machina Research, summed up the skills that are needed very succinctly:

“What we actually need are people who can combine data analytics, data software, business acumen and more.”

We are by no means saying that coding isn’t needed – we employ loads of amazing developers. But what we are saying is that our developers mean that your business doesn’t need to employ one. And as a wider economy we need to start encouraging kids into the jobs that we’ll need for a brighter, stronger future.

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