I’d like to make a public pledge: I intend to learn how to code.
There, I’ve committed myself. I figure, I’d better, since in my mind, coding is somewhat equivalent to math, which means right away, I might avoid it. But, see, I really get how much journalists need to be math and data savvy in this information era. So, while I haven’t yet introduced coding to my students, in the future I will. Plus, while this has an awful close resemblance to math, it’s also geeky, and it turns out I’m into geek.
Of course, I’m going to need a lot of help with this one. Thankfully, help exists. Here are some of the sites I’ve started exploring that seem to be designed to help a complete
idiot beginner start coding or working with databases:
Here’s the thing: This language is so foreign to me that I don’t even know what I don’t know. For example, I only yesterday figured out that coding is related to web scraping. Heck, I didn’t even know what web scraping was. Nor did I know that Ruby or gems or Firebug existed. I had only vaguely heard of Python before (and still am not completely sure what it does). And don’t get me started on Nokogiri!
All of this is to say that I haven’t a clue as to what I’m doing. I only know that coding is something journalists and their educators are going to need to be familiar with.
Have I gotten anything wrong here? Have any suggestions on what else I need to learn that’s connected to this? Or know of any tools or training sites that might aid a novice?
For a compilation of the resources I’ve collected on the topic, see my Storify piece.