Anyone looking to start up a new company should know that you're going to have to get your hands dirty. You'll wear multiple hats, work long hours and need to know many skills.
When it comes to tech skills, many entrepreneurs make the huge mistake of relying on the couple of developers they hire.
Justin Kan, of Justin.tv, shares a great story about what happened when their lead developer was on vacation and their startup's site went down - they were forced to get him a message via pizza delivery guy.
Bottom line, if something technical goes wrong, and you can't get in touch with your IT guy, you better know how to fix it. Period.
So, here is our take at One Month on the 5 tech skills and services you should master this coming year to help successfully run your startup:
- GitHub - If you're not the one doing the coding, you're going to want to review your developer's code or at least know where it lives. Typically, one person will push code and another developer will review code and sign off and send it out. Even if you have a developer assigned to coding for your app or your website, you should be able to know how to access it, review it, and even make little changes (like text on your site).
- Amazon Web Services (and the cloud) - It's 2016, not 1995. It no longer makes sense to buy your own server and have a dedicated IT person to manage it. Amazon Web Services is now the de facto standard for cloud hosting. Be familiar with the cloud and how to host your web application on the cloud. This will save you the cost of hiring additional engineers and the headaches of managing your own server.
- Automated Testing - What's out: hiring a QA tester. That's both expensive and error prone. What's in: Using automated testing. Once you write a test for something you can guarantee it works and will continue to work as your code changes. Learn about automated testing so you again can save your company some money and prevent complaints on Twitter when your site goes down and your developers aren't sure why.
- Continuous Deployment - This is a newer, highly-preferred, method of releasing code live to your site, which means constantly releasing code as long as they pass your automated tests. This can cut down on development time, eliminate the need for a long QA process, and lead to better code. Basically as soon as you push your code to GitHub, it gets tested, and if it passes, it is pushed live. Be in the know on how this works so you can make sure your company is leveraging this new capability and getting your product updates out the door quickly and correctly.
- Full-Stack Web Application Frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Django - Learning one of these frameworks lets your company do its coding in mostly one language and one place. Before, companies needed to hire front-end and back-end developers. Now these newer frameworks allow one person do it all. If you want to be resource efficient, you can hire one all-star Ruby on Rails or Django developer. And again, you'll want to have a good understanding of how different applications are structured in these languages to make sense of the code your developer is working on.
This is just our take based on what we've seen are critical tech skills for today's entrepreneurs running a startup. We'd love to hear if you have other tech skills that you considered important to master recently.