I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I am determined to develop some strategy around my professional development. I’m interested in directing my career toward the more technical types of library jobs, but am finding that even seemingly entry-level positions prefer a level of expertise that I’m not comfortable claiming in some areas. Chief among these is programming. While I taught myself HTML in high school, and have expanded on those skills with CSS in library school, that’s about the extent of my knowledge at this point. I also have some experience in fiddling around with whatever code necessary to set up digital libraries in Greenstone (some sort of hybrid of HTML and I’m not sure what else). I’m reasonably confident that I could pick up other programming languages given the opportunity, but can’t foresee that happening serendipitously in my current position.
Enter Code Year. I was really glad to notice the #codeyear hashtag in my Twitter stream, as it led me to this interesting and interactive resource for learning to code. Each week, a new interactive lesson is e-mailed to participants. There are also opportunities to work ahead a little, if you’re so inclined. I’ve completed the “Getting Started with Programming” lessons, only stumbling over a handful of instructions. But although I was able to follow directions well enough to pass, I’m honestly not sure I understood the point of what I was doing. It’ll be interesting to see if the pieces fall together as the lessons continue.
If you’re interested in learning more about programming, I would suggest giving it a chance. If nothing else, it might be a good bonding experience for us librarians participating. There’s a group forming at ALA Connect, and I am surely looking forward to the moral support!