HOW TO CODE — PART OF THE ECOSYSTEM

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More and more, the new media landscape will see journalists and programmers working together to build and break great stories.

So understanding how to best display web-based journalism requires some coding knowledge and skill. Journalists don’t need to be coders. (This continues to be a great debate). But they should understand how browsers, the cloud and websites work. A bit of coding knowledge also helps. (I am still learning everyday.)

 Ladies Learning Code:  I actually did a story about this not-for-profit organization when it first set up a chapter in Ottawa a couple years ago. It runs several different kinds of coding/computing workshops for women (men are welcome too). Its aim is take away the fear (especially for women) of tackling the technology.

I went to a Ladies Learning Code workshop last summer to learn about HTML/CSS. It was quite an intense eight-hour day at the Shopify office in Ottawa’s Byward Market. (It cost $50 including a nice lunch.)

I got a good grounding in HTML/CSS and it has helped me develop this interactive site. LLC is based in Toronto but has chapters across the country including Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver. It has also started a program for girls and kids to learn code.

Ladies Learning Code uses a cost-effective model that draws on young, volunteer talent in each community in which it operates. Tiffany Tse is one of the instructors. She works at a small, Ottawa technology startup and she teaches coding at Algonquin College. Volunteering for LLC is something she squeezes into her spare time.

“The basic coding skills workshop is about teaching people how to teach themselves, because you can only teach so much in the classroom. We post links like youtube videos and give supplementary information so they can teach themselves,” said Tse.

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