I’m not a programmer – yet.
After listening to the panelists at “Why All Your Students Must Be Programmers,” at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications conference on Friday, I’m inspired to learn at least the basics of programming.
Some of the panelists were professors, others worked for news organizations, and all had opinions on whether or not students needed to be programmers.
Michelle Minkoff, interactive producer at the Associated Press, said she wouldn’t be where she is today without programming.
Brian Boyer, news applications editor with National Public Radio, said journalists need to learn code in school so they know that it’s not magic.
Robert Hernandez, professor at the University of Southern California, disagreed with the title of the panel. Students should be exposed to the crafts of programming, photography, writing, design and copy editing, he said.
“I don’t want code monkeys, I want journalists,” he said.
One of my professors at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Matt Waite, said he wants students who are willing to learn things outside their comfort zones (and who know how to calculate percentage).
My main take away from the panel was that programming is a tool I need to learn. I don’t know how much code I need to know, and I’m sure it will be hard to learn, but I’m willing to give it a try.