The short answer is no. But it will help you more than you can imagine. The GIS world doesn’t need everyone to be coders. Most GIS software is sufficiently complex that one could easily spend their entire careers working with one program and never use all of it, let alone have to improve on it. It would certainly be possible to specialize in a specific aspect of GIS or a specific type of analysis and never learn to write your own code. If the thought of programming sends tremors of fear down your spine, fear not. You will always be needed. Continue reading “Do I need to know how to code to be a GIS professional?”
This is a loaded question as there is probably not one single answer for everyone. There are important considerations, however, that do apply to all. I have earned a living for the past 14 years as a GIS/Database specialist for a number of small but growing environmental consulting firms. This post is specific to my experience but I suspect that at least some aspects of it are common to small consulting firms in other fields and possibly small non-profits as well. I will focus specifically on optimizing the GIS data storage of large datasets in a single-user environment with this post, but I will follow shortly with a second post dealing with moving from single user desktop GIS to multi-user enterprise level systems.