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2012 DSA Annual Meeting Speech

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Why Learning To Code Is The New </Mandarin>

When I was first appointed President of Mary Kay Germany, I took a two week crash course in German, started my job, and then only had time to further my skills on weekends.  Being able to converse and read in elementary German changed my 5 year experience in Germany and enhanced my appreciation for Germany and its people, culture and traditions.  At the very least, I understood what people were talking about in a rudimentary way, so I was "in the game" when the conversation drifted from English to German.  And Germans appreciated my interest and my attempts to keep up with them in their language.

Today, I read about parents who are teaching their 5 year olds Mandarin.  I agree that Mandarin is going to be increasingly useful in business in the future, but we adults should be paying attention to another language: code.

"One's education is never complete, and those who attain eminence in any branch confess themselves perpetual learners" - Horatio Alger

Business students & entrepreneurs should be learning to code.   Few skills can help you more in business today or tomorrow than the rudimentary ability to write code.  I've been on CodeAcademy every Sunday for the past few weeks trying to learn HTML & CSS.  I love it!     

We all know that having a website is crucial for any business.  So tomorrow's entrepreneur and executive should be able to create and maintain their websites, or, at the very least, understand what is involved.  A major part of your overhead costs in your startup is labor.   I.T. costs to produce and maintain a website are a major part of that (whether implementing new systems or software into the back-end of your website).  And it seems that in this struggling economy, tech costs are still soaring.  

We also know a direct selling startup has to be lean & mean.  You have to act with speed.  How many of you have waited for your outside I.T. service to update your website, while your salespeople need to see changes made to your site immediately?  Learn to code before starting your venture, or hire that skill.

Just like you need to understand Finance, future business leaders should understand coding.  

Start right now, click below on the image, and try it for 5 minutes.  If you don't get hooked, you will at least become fluent in some key language terms.  And you'll stay in the game.

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