20ThingsBook Very early on I had an interest in computers and computing. I wrote some BASIC programs using a Vic 20 and later a Commodore 64. I had a VZ200, tape drive and some extra RAM and would spend hours trying to create a Star Trek style adventure game.

When I worked as a trainee accountant, I used my programming knowledge to create a lease accounting program. It allowed me to complete in minutes a boring task that normally would take days. I knew I was onto something!

At university I turned my hand to FORTRAN and COBOL but started to reach the plateau of my interest. But I did also discover the internet – and learn about the node based network that sat beneath the world wide web. This understanding has been an absolute foundation for my work over the last 20 years – helping me to not just create strategy, but to ensure its realisation.

These days, with an increasing interest in digital and social media, I am always surprised to hear of people working in this space who have little or no experience AT ALL with technology. I’m not saying that you need to become a programmer, but you need to be able to understand the concepts. For example, can you answer the questions:

  • What is TCP/IP
  • What’s cloud computing
  • What is HTML and CSS
  • What’s different with HTML 5
  • Why should I use an up-to-date browser
  • What’s a cookie and why do they taste so good

Luckily, Google have stepped in and have put together a great introductory guide that answers these questions and more (HT to Stan Johnson).

And while I am on this topic, don’t forget also to check out Coding for Dummies. Some essential reading that won’t hurt your brain – and may just make you more successful in your digital efforts!