I was reading an article about CEOs who see the benefit of understanding and even learning programming languages. Why would or should they?

This brings to mind the idea of running a restaurant. Although one can certainly open a restaurant without becoming a chef, or even knowing how to cook anything, it certainly is a great benefit to know how to. Imagine your executive chef quitting on you, leaving you with just a few kitchen helpers, in the busiest day of the week, and customers are queuing in a long line. What do you do? What could you do?

If you are a good chef yourself, such a situation would not faze you. You roll up your sleeves, put on a clean apron, and get to work in the kitchen. The show goes on, and your customers are happy.

In the world of information technology and social media today, chief executives would do themselves a great favor if they know the lingo and the mechanics behind the inner workings of the social media and technology world. They do not need to roll up sleeves and take excessive caffeine to program in code, but having a decent understanding of programming languages, databases, servers, operating systems, etc, would empower them to talk with their internal IT and development teams better, and certainly would understand if technology projects are in good progress, or stalled. Clearly there are many benefits. In today’s world, knowing how to code for a CEO is akin to expecting the same person to know enough about finance, manufacturing, quality control, etc.

So, don’t be surprised if you meet a CEO who codes the next time. He or she might just be the norm in the near future.