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Nice bonus 'Challenge Projects' for each skill.
Awesome post @natedesmond - there's definitely facets of the technical side of marketing that I want to become more skilled at myself. Learning these skills, especially in startups can make you pretty self-sufficient and makes you more appealing as a marketer.
We should always be pushing ourselves to learn new things and evolve. Stay stagnant and you won't survive. Simple as that.
Yes, at least in my limited experience working/consulting for startups, the IT teams are always juggling too many things to start with. Instead of fighting the (usually) losing battle to prioritize marketing stuff, learning to do the basics myself has helped a lot.
Great post. I love that you include challenges at the end of each skill. Looks like I have some projects to play with tonight.
Awesome Christian! Love to hear how they go! :)
If a marketer plans on writing any amount of code (or working w/ developerS), knowledge of version control (git/github) is important.
That's a really good point! I've learned and relearned git something like 3 times already, and I think I've forgotten most of it again. Even with non-technical solutions like Optimizely, you need to put the code on the website in the first place.
Most of these can be found on Udemy's $10 sale, including the SQL for Markers and Growth Hackers that he recommends. The sale goes until the 28th. https://www.udemy.com/collection/pick-up-skills-10deal (I have no affiliation with Udemy)
Thanks for mentioning this coupon code @mrawski! I immediately started with the SQL for Marketers and Growth Hackers course!
Darn, why do I have to learn SQL and A/B Testing. Analytics and coding kill me.
I'm just starting to dive-in to the growth hacking mindset and was talking to a friend about all the different skills I need to learn and how hard it is to figure out which to learn first. Next thing I see is this article in GrowthHackers Twitter feed. Couldn't have been timed more perfectly.
Awesome to hear @david_wolitzer!
I'd love to hear what other technical skills you all think a growth hacker should learn!
For programming, I'd go with ONE of Ruby / PHP / Python. Of those, I strongly recommend Python because of versatility, and particularly in the area of analysis & data tools.
*(Ruby is okay but is lacking anything like Python's project ecosystem for data tasks. PHP is fine if you just want to make dynamic web pages. But this is a growth hacking skills list, so you should really just learn Python. Next-best alternative is something like "Ruby and R and at least some Python" - which is less effective & takes way more effort.)*
It's very hard to learn programming via online resources alone. Find a local group that you can work with around once a week, and that isn't going to give you the evil eye for asking newbie questions. (You will learn this stuff way slower if you work in an environment which teaches you to be afraid to ask questions.)
Programming is deep. Data mining is not application design is not algorithm design is not predictive modeling. But you can do an enormous amount with the basics, so absolutely start learning it right now. Seriously, go block off some time to get started this week. And to pimp Python again: it's one of the most accessible languages for beginners, by far.
You should know how to interpret graphs & how to create graphs that don't suck. This is kind of implied in a few places, but not really emphasized. It's very easy to shoot yourself in the foot with graphs which LOOK convincing, but which are actually not telling the story that you'd think they are without more experience. Can you rattle off 10 ways to lie with graphs? No? Then how do you know what to believe when you're trying to base decisions off of them?
You should also pick up enough design knowledge to hash together reasonable landing pages, and to inform your split testing experiments. You don't have to be a PhotoShop master. But you should have a gut understanding of issues like what factors are influencing readability, what content people are likely to notice or skim over, why it's bad to have multiple CTAs going in different directions.
A good grasp of UX is just cheating.
Really good points, thanks Jim! Any particular books/resources you recommend for starting Python?
"Learn Python the Hard Way" is a good starting point.
But really, anything that teaches you programming fundamentals and a bit about how they're implemented in Python will do. The next step is to start trying to implement some things that matter enough to you to keep you motivated. Your starting point mainly needs to enable that, so you can start getting some momentum going.
Being able to talk to someone who can tell you which things are probably accessible early on, and which things are a multi-month project requiring careful planning, will be very helpful. One of those things you want to find a regular local meetup for. It's all about tightening your feedback loops & creating an immersive learning environment.
Some Python projects you'll want to look at early on:
● Requests for HTTP requests & basic API access
● BeautifulSoup for pulling data out of downloaded HTML
● Pandas for accessing & working with data
● Flask, if you want to make web services & APIs
I agree you should know a little about some of them, but I think is excessive for a marketer (or others with no technical background) to have to learn sql or to know a little about 3 different coding languages.
I think is better to focus in your goal, and research and figure out how you can achieve it. I think there are tools or great forums, like stackoverflow, an awesome gamificated site where you will get your technical questions answered in minutes.
So I will remove db querying and programing and add something like "google usage".
Yes, it's amazing how much you can learn as you go.
The ultimate resource for growth hacking: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=growth
If you need weeb scraping in your toolset...foget about growth hacking, this is a different story
Stellar, stellar, stellar. Love the way you hit on the points and then had a challenge. And I have to admit... as much as I really enjoyed the post, it showed I have a TON to learn :) Thanks Nate!
I tweeted you & then realized I can comment here Nate. You mention to track offline conversions and attribute to online (via the callrail comment) but how can we achieve that?
I currently record gclid on Adwords but that's all. No idea how to tie it all together.
@natedesmond - I have a subset of the skills that you have listed and as I am looking to transition to a new role, this article encompasses all that I need to learn.
You saved me a ton of time. :)
Great article @natedesmond!
I love it that you have included challenges and focus on starting to master one skill at a time.
NIce one Nate,
I'd also recommend CodeAcademy for learning markup and programming.. And it won't hurt to learn Java Script as well as it will be used more in the near future. Thanks for the post! Love he projects BTW
Amazing article. Will share with my growth team.
@natedesmond excellent list. If you were to prioritize out of these 7 skills, which one would you recommend? I'm trying to find the best way to approach this list without overloading my brain. Although at his point I'm looking at Statistics, Programming, and A/B Testing as the ones I should be focusing on. What do you think?
I'd start with the thing you'll use first. Personally, I've found I learn much faster when I'm actually using the skill.
Awesome post, brief and to the point tnx @natedesmond & @ryangum 4 sharing
I’m just starting to dive-in to the growth hacking mindset and was talking to a friend about all the different skills I need to learn and how hard it is to figure out which to learn first.
Next thing I see is this article in GrowthHackers Twitter feed. Couldn’t have been timed more perfectly.
Great run down! @justinmares and co have a good course on learning many of these skills at http://courses.becomeatechnicalmarketer.com/
Great post @NateDesmond Love the challenge part. Need more of those the sharpen my skills.
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