Should Church Communicators Learn Python?

Spoiler Alert: I think so. Here's why I think you should learn Python or at least hire someone who does.

Should Church Communicators Learn Python?
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Spoiler Alert: I think so. Here's why I think you should learn Python or at least hire someone who does:

Sure, there are many no-code tools out there like Zapier that allow anyone to use the power of code to connect various apps and services. Still, not everything is on Zapier, nor do no-code tools provide the flexibility of a programming language.

You're probably thinking, "Mackenly, I'm in marketing and communications. I'm not a programmer." And you are right. I'm not advocating that you learn C++, Java, or some other complicated language. After all, there's little reason that you would ever need it. However, knowing the basics of Python (one of the easiest languages) can be very helpful and set you apart from your peers.

Being able to code allows you to create solutions. The primary reason that a marketer should learn to code is to connect up applications using APIs (application programming interface) and webhooks. APIs allow code to read information from external services such as Facebook, your website, or ChMS. Webhooks act like push notifications in that when something happens, they send a request to your code with information. For example, on this site, when someone signs up to become a member (easy, free, and simple, click the button in the bottom right) a webhook sends their email to my code which processes the data and sends it to my email list provider (ConvertKit). You can enable automation between services and tools that otherwise wouldn't talk with each other and process the data in between. Can Zapier do that? I don't think so.

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I use Cloudflare Workers to run my serverless functions. If you haven't guessed, Cloudflare lets you run your code in "the cloud." A serverless function is simply a place for your code to live without requiring you to do any server management, perfect for people who only want to use code for automation.

So if you're currently using Zapier, you've probably noticed the pricing. Wow, is the pricing high! $30/month for 20 Zaps. That's over a dollar per Zap unless you want to lock in to annual payments. With Cloudflare workers, you get 30 workers for free, and if you need more, it's $5/m (more if your workers are used more than 1 million times per month).

You've heard why you should be creating custom automation and the price benefit. Now let's talk about marketing benefits.

There are many tasks you do that you can automate or improve. For example, you can automate writing data reports, automate inputting data, use AI to analyze data, or automate the processing of media. Being able to code isn't a job requirement for marketers, nor should it be, but knowing some basics in Python can make your job easier and allow you to spend your time doing things that you enjoy, like Zoom meetings. 😉

Home School, quarantine :(
Photo by Gabriel Benois / Unsplash

To learn Python, I'd suggest downloading the latest version of Python, the PyCharm Community IDE, and exploring W3 Schools. Your goal shouldn't be to become a programmer because simply knowing a computer language doesn't make you a programmer. Your goal should be to solve problems using the tools you have at your disposal.