Monthly Archives: March 2015

If you are a finance guy, you should start coding!

It’s been two months since I began to learn how to code. I’m using Codecademy as my main learning platform and now I am able to setup a server, write very basic code and several languages such as PHP and Ruby. As well, I am attempting to create a new, time management mobile app for myself.

As many successful leaders and business people will tell you, coding is one of the most valuable skills on earth. Learning coding enables us to innovate, understand technology, and communicate with tech people all around the world. Reading many cases about tech companies and interacting with tech entrepreneurs at HBS, I even feel it’s impossible to lead recent tech-driven companies without coding knowledge. And this year, at long last, HBS has finally started offering Computer Science courses!

Before I started coding, I thought, as many people do, that learning code was similar to learning a new language. That’s true to some extent. There is vocabulary, grammar, and a variety of languages to learn. However, unlike languages, we don’t need to speak or listen to code.

Recently I realized there is one thing more akin to coding than it is to language – financial modeling! I have discovered that coding is very similar to developing a financial model. Just as coding has different languages, finance has different accounting standards. Similar to programmers using tag and style to write code, financial analysts use formulae and functions to develop a financial model. Programmers and financial analysts are frustrated when they find a bug, and feel a sense of accomplishment when they create a simple and clean program/model. When I code until the wee small hours of the night, it reminds me of my days spent in investment banking. The only difference is what I’m looking at: text editor or Microsoft Excel.

Learning coding for a while, I can now say, with complete confidence, that finance people can learn coding twice as fast as non-finance people. Finance people already have the agile fingers and architectural thinking skills. Learning coding for finance people is simply a matter of learning new formulae and rules.

If you are a finance guy, you should definitely start coding!