TITLE: Programming for Everyone: Journalists AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 01, 2011 3:06 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Jacob Harris begins his recent In Praise of Impractical Programming with a short discussion of how programming is becoming an integral part of the newsroom:
For the past few years, I've been working as a software developer in the newsroom, where perceptions of my kind have changed from novelty to a necessity. Recognizing this, some journalism schools now even require programming courses to teach students practical skills with databases or web frameworks. It's thrilling to contemplate a generation of web-hacking journalists -- but I wish we could somehow squeeze a little magic into their course load.
This seems like a natural evolutionary path that many industries will follow in the coming years or decades. At first it will be enough to use other people's tools. Then, practitioners will want to be able to write code in a constrained environment, such as a web framework or a database application. Eventually, I suspect that at least a few of the programming practitioners will tire of the constraints, step outside of the box, and write the code -- and maybe even the tools -- they want and need. If historians can do it, so can journalists. -----