Can you join the tech industry without coding?

Dea Mandija
5 min readFeb 20, 2022


I googled this exact question four years ago while completing my first internship as a web developer in a tech startup. Safe to say that coding wasn’t my calling, and I was desperate for answers.

Today, after multiple roles in tech that had nothing to do with variables or syntax, and currently working as a Product Manager, I can confidently answer: YES YOU CAN!

We hear a lot of talk about pushing this new generation towards a career in tech/STEM, whilst never actually talking to them about what options are available.

Phase 1: What are the options?

Technology is a broad industry, yet many still equate a career in it with only technical skills. Here’s a list with job titles from the top of my head that don’t require coding:

  • Product Manager
  • Project Manager
  • Growth Hacker
  • Data Analyst
  • Product Designer
  • User Researcher
  • User Interface (UI) Designer
  • Content Designer
  • Technical Writer
  • Business Analyst
  • Scrum Master
  • Agile Coach
  • Product Marketing
  • Customer Support
  • Technical Recruiter
  • Citizen Developer (specialists involved in low-code/no-code app development)

It’s easier to get a foot in the door when you already have familiarity with an industry — you know the lingo, the market, and how everything works.

So let’s say you’re coming from finance, banking, or accounting, a FinTech company could be a natural fit.

Lawyer? LegalTech;

Health? HealthTech;

You get the gist. There are more crossovers than you think.

Make a list of all the areas where you already have some knowledge, particularly those you enjoy and start exploring!

But what if I have 0 experience and don’t know where to start? Have you seen those ads that require 5 years for a Junior position? This is all so overwhelming and what does a “rockstar self-starter” in this job description even mean? I’m so confused?!!!

Breathe in, breathe out. We’ll get to you in a second.

Phase 2: Preparation & hunting

Research, research, research. Whether you’re right out of the school benches or a professional with multiple years of experience on your back, learning at this stage will be crucial.

Here’s what I wish I knew when I first started:

  • Take part in local and remote events to start building a network

You could even start by filtering EventBrite events and see which apply to the career you’re interested in. You’ll not only learn more about the subject but also get in touch with people from that niche.

If you’re based in Albania, you can now check for upcoming events and news related to our tech ecosystem at AlbaniaTech.

And yes, showing up and putting yourself out there can be very awkward. Start with remote events and that perfect combo of camera/mic off to get in the groove.

  • Follow successful people in the job you’re trying to pursue. What do they preach? What was their path like? What skills do they have?

Don’t put them on a pedestal, but rather appreciate their experience. And stay away from snake oil salesman gurus.

  • Look at “a day in the life of X job title”

We sometimes tend to romanticize a job without knowing what working in it every day would even look like. There are multiple vlog type videos available on youtube that give some “behind the scenes” without the glamour.

  • Your CV, portfolio, and LinkedIn profile are crucial

Basic, but I still see people neglecting it. And no, you can’t just copy-paste the responsibilities of your job title from the internet and hope for the best.

Check out all the available resources & templates at Wonsulting to understand this process better.

Additionally, check frequently asked interview questions about a role. I used Product management exercises to prepare. Rehearse that “where do you see yourself in x years” answer, they somehow still ask it.

  • Certifications & courses — Yay or bullshit?!?!

It reaaaaaaaaally depends. I know, I hate that answer too. Strange how we’re all so binary in our thinking isn’t it?!

Listen, all I’m saying is do your research and don’t spend thousands of dollars on a piece of paper. Sometimes books or other resources are just as good, but you need the patience to find them.

  • Work on a project or product hands-on

You need the experience to get experience, we all know that hell-ish loop.

However, there’s no gatekeeping when it comes to personal projects or ideas you can work on. Even better if you can do something with other collaborators. There are multiple mentoring programs and startup accelerators precisely to guide you in that journey.

Stuck in coming up with an idea?

Think of a problem that really frustrates you in your day to day, how would you solve it? Think of a product you really like, what would you change about it, how would you improve it? Voila.

  • Approach internships with caution

Being eager for experience is an amazing thing. However, be aware of exploitative internships that take advantage of you without really offering anything in return. Talk to people, check review sites and don’t sell yourself too short. I truly believe that unpaid internships should be banned, but that’s a conversation for another time.

Around here, we nonengineers are pressed to prove our value. The hierarchy is pervasive, ingrained in the industry’s dismissal of marketing and its insistence that a good product sells itself; evident in the few “office hours” established for engineers (our scheduled opportunity to approach with questions and bugs); reflected in our salaries and equity allotment, even though it’s harder to find a good copywriter than a liberal-arts graduate with a degree in history and twelve weeks’ training from an uncredentialed coding dojo. — Anna Wiener, American author

The tech industry is wonderful, but it’s also messy. Privacy issues, large corporations controlling the show, exploitation etc. So it’s always important to remember that:

A job is a job. Choose the one you love, and you will still have to work every day of your life because we live in a society. — Dea, a person who is tired of people spreading misinformation about work and life

If you have any questions or need help with any of the topics I’ve mentioned, please don’t hesitate to reach out here. :)