That depends on what you mean by “code.” But knowing how to make computers do things is a useful skill, and as Robert Hernandez notes, “It’s not magic.”
Should all librarians learn to code? As David Holmes of the PandoDaily pointed out when he asked whether journalists should learn to code, this isn’t a yes-no question. “Learning code could mean anything from spending a few hours to get familiar with HTML [to] taking a full courseload of computer science classes at a university,” he says. Being able to make computers do things is a skill you can take as far as you like: Some of us will become proficient programmers, and others will keep it basic. Those who aren’t fluent in the latest computing language can still build blogs and infographics and online tutorials. And any information professional will benefit from knowing how to fix a bit of HTML web text and being able to talk about technical needs with the people who are the experts.
David Holmes was kind enough to allow me to adapt his flowchart on whether journalists should learn to code. Many thanks, David, for your generosity.
Source: Adapted with permission from a flowchart by David Holmes/PandoDaily.
“Flowchart: Should Journalists Learn to Code?” by David Holmes. PandoDaily, October 23, 2013.
Knight Digital Media Center (KDMC) technology tutorials. KDMC produces free digital media tutorials on subjects from website development to data visualization. While some tutorials focus on technology and journalism, most are general enough to be of use to anyone.
“Are You a Code-Curious Journalist? Here’s a Quick Guide to Online Tutorials,” by Matthew Gelfand. MediaShift IdeaLab, September 3, 2013.