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Five Reasons Every Resort Marketer Should Learn to Code

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Some people see knowing how to write code as an unnecessary add-on to their already “impressive” skill set. I see things a bit differently. I see it as awesome cross training for any and every resort marketer. Here are 5 reasons why.

1) Think Different
This isn’t some homage to Apple’s famous ad campaign, this is the honest truth. Writing code works both sides of your brain in ways other activities simply can’t achieve. Faced with a problem like loading an array for a Google Chart (teaser of things to come) but doing it in a way that doesn’t tax the database forces you to be incredibly creative with your approach and then logically work through the solution.

2) Build What You Imagine
One thing that has helped me move SlopeFillers in the direction you want it to go is the fact that I can build whatever I need. A dashboard with ski resort social stats? Sure. A script that gathers data for every resort each morning? Done. A weekly email update with performance and news that’s compiled and delivered automatically? Check. Marketers are famous for ideas, being able to write code lets you create many of them.

3) Reasonable Expectations
If you decide an idea or project is outside of your realm, you have a much better understanding of what skills that developer should have, how long it should take, and, perhaps most importantly, about how much it would cost. When you have a new snow reporting app built, you can go into it with much more realistic expectations and be able to ask the important questions about how it will happen.

4) It’s Fun
Set aside your nerdy stereotypes, writing code can be incredibly fun. It’s like combining the creative fulfillment of building your new deck by hand without spending a cent on lumber. Building things is fun, problem solving is satisfying, and coding presents both of those ideas together.

5) It’s the Future
Think about some of the most frequent things you use: mobile phone apps, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, email, the list goes on. What do they all have in common? Software. Each of those “products” is nothing more than software. SlopeFillers is powered by WordPress, what I think is the best blogging program available. Software is already claiming a place in the ski industry with things like EpicMix, powerful CMSs, and mobile apps, but I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

What Languages?
I’m partial to the web variety, but here are the languages I’d learn if I were you in the order I’d tackle them with the difficult in (paranthesis):

  • HTML (medium) – for creating web page layouts
  • CSS (easy) – for styling web page layouts
  • PHP (harder) – for dynamically generating what will be displayed
  • MySQL (medium) – for storing and retrieving stuff from a database
  • Javascipt / jQuery (harder) – for making elements of a web-page dynamic after it has loaded

If you want to do more of the iPhone / app style of thing, Objective C would be your game, but if you can learn HTML, CSS, and PHP, you’ll have an awesome start. Now go get ’em you…you…little coder you.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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