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Help a coder, even if you can’t code

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Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg / CC-BY
Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg / CC-BY

“I love to help with your project, but i can’t code.”
“This hackathon sure sounds cool, but i can’t program.”
“That competition sounds awesome, but i ‘m not a coder.”

Sounds familiar? I’ve heard this question dozens of times the last couple of years: non-coders who want to help with a technical project, but are afraid to do so, because they can’t code.

That’s a pity, because i feel there are many ways non-coders can help coders and work to create awesome things together.

So, how can you, as a non-programmer help a coder?

Here’s a dirty little secret that many people don’t know: coders actually don’t code that much. I’ve seen various numbers, but in my own experience ‘real’ coding, like typing code on a keyboard in a text editor, takes only between 2 to 3 hours during an average 8-hour workday.

So what does a coder do in those other 5 to 6 hours? Here are some things a typical web developer might do:

See a pattern here? Indeed, all of these activities don’t require writing a single line of code. Of course, not all of these tasks might easily be done by somebody else, but i bet there are a few of these you can help out with.

Here are some examples:

Easy, right? Hopefully, the next time you’re asked to participate in a technical project, you’re not afraid to decline because you can’t code. And, after reading this article, you still don’t know what to do: coders love free coffee and a massage at times as well ;)

If you have more suggestions on what you can do as a non-coder: post a comment or send me a tweet.

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