Coding for Librarians : Applied knowledge is the best kind

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January 10, 2012 by MMIT

There’s been an impressive amount of librarian chatter about Code Year, a new initiative from the people behind Codeacademy. Codeacademy offer free introductory programming tutorials using JavaScript as the language of choice and it looks like this is also the approach Code Year will take. Discussion has already started on Twitter (hashtag #libcodeyear or #catcode) and IRC (#libcodeyear @ Freenode).

JavaScript is often proposed as a starter coding choice, at least in part due to it’s ubiquity (got browser? got JavaScript!). I’m not going to get into a language war, deciding what programming language to start with largely depends on a) what you like and b) what you want to build. And there are plenty of other places you can hear the arguments from every possible angle. It also depends on your own learning style. Don’t get discouraged if one of the tutorials doesn’t work for you, there are plenty others that might fit better with the way you learn. There’s a plethora of courses and learning resources out there, many of which have been listed on the Cat Code wiki.

The best coding tutorials (IMHO) are the ones that help you create something practical and/or applicable to your area of interest. And, with that in mind, I’ve started a list of open source library projects that may be of interest to those getting started with writing code. These projects aren’t necessarily beginner level (many of them aren’t) but provide examples of real code in action and something that you may be able to use and (eventually) contribute to.

Learning JavaScript?

Learning PHP?

Learning Ruby and/or Ruby on Rails?

These are just a few examples which I hope to keep adding to and, of course, suggestions are more than welcome.

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About

The MmIT group is a CILIP special interest group concerned with the organisation, delivery and exploration of information through modern media including graphic forms, video and web based application. This blog contains news from the group and about multimedia information and technology in the library and information. For more information about MmIT see http://www.cilip.org.uk/about/special-interest-groups/multimedia-information-technology-group.

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