Buchanan: ‘Newspapers are hiring coders who can write and writers who can code’

<code> doesn’t suck: It’s awesome

Larry Buchanan – 1:30-2:20 p.m. Monday

Illustrator and designer Larry Buchanan’s overview of which types of code to learn (which basically said to learn all of them if you can, but start off with HTML and CSS) gave a good introduction to what services people can use to gain skills in coding. Buchanan emphasized that students should set aside time to learn code if not they’re taking classes in it, and he said to take paid classes so that students will stop making excuses. He all but guaranteed that journalists who know how to code will get jobs in the field.

In-person programs he recommended to learn programming include General Assembly, SkillShare, Starter League and Dev Bootcamp, and online programs like Treehouse, Code Academy, Code School, Tuts Plus and the Bastards Book of Ruby were beneficial as well. Buchanan also suggested getting a GitHub profile because it is basically Facebook for programmers and allows you to save versions of code through its site. Stack Overflow is a great resource if you’re really stuck on a problem with your code, and Buchanan’s biggest tip was to go to a hackathon, even if you’re intimidated, especially if you’re intimidated.

Because so many people asked questions, the main problem with this session was that Buchanan had planned a demo and was not able to demonstrate what he’d learned before the session was over. While I understand that some of the questions that were asked had a place in the discussion, one of the audience members seemed to be a bit over-the-top in challenging what Buchanan said about the necessity of learning this skill, which visibly irritated some of the other audience members who really wanted to see the demonstration (i.e. the people on either side of me).

– Mary Kate Brogan

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