Congrats! By reading this blog you are one of the journalists which aren’t scared of the word ‘coding’. During the digital transformation we need to develop new skills and coding in journalism can be one of them. It’s literally a whole new language and let’s be clear: we don’t say it’s easy, but we can help you with your journey.
First of all, you have to ask yourself an important question. What is your goal? For example, you are dreaming of a career switch, wanting to become a newsroom developer and build your own interactives, or do you want to understand the basics so it helps you to understand and communicate with the newsroom developers in your team. Learning to code takes time and determination. So, maybe you have to set your goals and expectation.
Tools help you create something without a single line of code. Unfortunately all of them have their limitations. At some point you will need to learn the real deal. For me it begins with a little bit of HTML: every webpage uses it. This language isn’t actually a programming language: it’s a markup language for text.
If I want to bold this sentence a have to insert: <b> and here the bold text </b> in the texteditor.
For example, this is HTML:
And this is how it looks like:
I was really excited about this progress en after an intensive minor in coding I could make a simple moving infographic, a pie chart and an interactive map. In other words: it took me approximately 6 hard months to learn the basics.
As you can see coding can be really time consuming. Luckily there are a lot of resources which helped me and will definitely help you.
Coding most of the time is solving problems. Stay calm and be patient: it isn’t unusual to spend six hours to fix a bug. By using Stackoverflow you can learn from other developers and share your knowledge. GitHub is also a really nice development platform which brings coders together to work through problems and learn from each other along the way. Searching for more tutorials, references and examples? Then we recommend W3.Schools.