At most universities, students are required to take English composition courses, and at many others speech and/or foreign language classes are also required. Yet in the debate about teaching code in journalism programs, code is often reduced to a shiny toy.
If we value clear writing and the ability to communicate clearly with a wide variety of people, we should value teaching our students the basics of computer languages and digital communications. These skills will only be more important going forward, and more importantly code, a broad term encompassing several computing languages, is the future of digital and global communication. If we don’t expose our students to this — students we want to lead the next generation of journalism and communication — we are doing them a disservice.
I’m a self-taught coder. And I know from experience — every job I’ve ever had involved coding, and it has only been in one of my job descriptions — that it is another great arrow in my quiver.
Samford students have free access to tons of tutorials at lynda.com. Are you taking advantage of that to increase your skill set?