From the Harvard Business Review, Peter Drucker describes a methodology for improving oneself – or otherwise, improving by choosing where to best use our efforts at education for the aim of getting better.
Comparing your expectations with your results also indicates what not to do. We all have a vast number of areas in which we have no talent or skill and little chance of becoming even mediocre. In those areas a person – and especially a knowledge worker – should not take on work, jobs, and assignments. One should waste as little effort as possible improving areas of low competence. It takes far more energy and work to improve from incompetence to mediocrity than it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence. And yet most people – especially most teachers and most organizations – concentrate on making incompetent performers into mediocre ones. Energy, resources, and time should go instead to make a competent person into a star performer.
It is a common thought process in SEO that one should learn to code. Codecademy has taken fire in the space as of late, and the push for this knowledge acquisition in computer science has reached a critical mass. The thought process Drucker describes is cogent for us – the SEOs – to assess in our decision making when learning, or not learning how to code. Is this something we can become great at? Will it make us great SEOs, or simply good SEOs with a mediocre coding ability? This thought process, explained by Drucker, should be the one we undertake when deciding how to proceed. The answer is not as cut and dry as many public voices may lead you to think.
It is my belief that knowing how to code is not a requirement of a great SEO. Constantly getting better, however, is. Coding is just one way of doing that – and there are many other paths on the road.