What is Git? How do you get Git? How do you use Git? If you ever need to share a site or a project with other people, GitHub provides an easy way to do it. This post covers Git and GitHub for absolute beginners.
This post deals with two common assumptions: (1) You need to learn particular software programs (e.g. Dreamweaver) so you can make things for the Web. (2) Journalists work inside corporate content management systems (CMSs), so there’s no need for them to know Web coding. Both of those are incorrect. Let’s proceed.
My college roommate majored in computer science, and I majored in journalism. I’m not saying the journalists of the world have to become what she became — a systems analyst. But my roommate could (and still can) write standard English correctly, grammatically. She can communicate clearly. Her writing skills helped her rise in her profession. She wouldn’t know how to write a news story about a school board meeting, but in many situations in her jobs when writing was necessary, she could get that done quickly and well. It gave her an edge. It made her a better manager. It helped keep her projects on track.
For journalists in 2013, code starts to look more like that. Someone has even said: “In the digital age that we all live in, you are essentially illiterate if you can’t code.”
So that’s how I’m going to start — with something simple and basic that you should understand.
There’s been a lot of talk about journalists learning to code, and that conversation mainly centers on programming. When we say programming, we mean the use of computer programming languages, which cause things to happen. Things happen because a user — a member of the audience — touches something or adds some information. Interaction. Programming makes things happen.
I want to write a short series of posts about coding, for journalists. That includes journalism students. And yes — it includes the journalism educators too.
Today I’m starting with something we call code, but most people would agree it is not programming. The system we use to present information on Web pages begins with HTML, a markup language that structures the content of the page.