Get started with Web coding. Part 3: The command line

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.”

Get started with Web coding. Part 2: JavaScript and jQuery

I’m not willing to say every journalism student needs to learn JavaScript. But I believe strongly that journalists and educators and students need to understand how the Web works, and what must happen before you see something you can interact with — on a mobile phone or a tablet or a website.

So that’s how I’m going to start — with something simple and basic that you should understand.

When you see things that move or react to your clicking and typing in any Web-based story or feature or app, that’s probably JavaScript making it all happen. Only JavaScript. Even the control buttons on an audio player or a video player — now that Flash is far out of favor, even those little buttons are created with a combination of CSS and JavaScript.