Coding in DH

Now that I’m getting to know more and more about DH I can confidently say, it’s a lot of WORK. We did just a small portion of that work this past week when we were introduced and played around with command line. Code isn’t something I prefer doing, or even something I saw myself doing a few months ago. Although it’s relatively easy to follow instructions, when using code I’ve learned you have to make sure you’re following the correct instructions, step by step, or nothing will work. I guess that could be where this whole building vs. critiquing thing could come in as well. Personally, I don’t think all DHers need to know/learn code. Collaboration is an important part of DH, so it’s fine if there’s a DH who doesn’t know how to do code, I think they should just be able to understand it and how it works.

To backtrack a little, I never even knew digital humanities existed until I saw it on the CAL website. I was originally a Spanish minor (after 7 years of Spanish your brain works in two languages…ALL THE TIME) and I wasn’t having that. Plus I think computers and technology will be taking over the world one day and I wanna make sure I know more about how to use different things that will benefit me more rather than another language. But I guess computers have their own language(s) as well, and coding must be one of them. Basically I didn’t want to spend my time studying something people can use Google Translator for.

One day I hope to have the opportunity to create things and work on projects like the ones we saw while visiting Matrix. I want to be an asset to a technologically advanced world (where people first search the internet for information, rather than the books in the library). I mean people use the internet in order to search for books in the library and its a very valuable asset to have, which i’m also assuming is DH work or could be DH work?

Anyways, coding is definitely not something I saw myself doing and now I’m using code in two of my classes. Personally, I like using GitHub and TextWrangler for coding in my other class (I think it’s easier), but using command line with Terminal was definitely interesting to use. It’s pretty crazy how I’ve went from not knowing anything about code or coding tools a couple months ago to critiquing other tools now. Every time I use a computer now I think about the amount of coding and effort someone put into creating each website, application, etc. It’s amazing what computers are capable of, and it’s amazing what DH is capable of. I can’t wait to learn more about it and continue with our project.


2 thoughts on “Coding in DH

  1. It’s cool that you’re learning how to code in two of your classes. I am also new to the world of coding, and it also gives me a great amount of appreciation for computers and the work that goes into them. It makes me want to get better with these machines to use them to a more fuller potential.


  2. It’s true–in order to critique something, you’d probably have to know how that something works first.

    Also–I should have mentioned this in class but forgot–command line isn’t necessarily coding. Coding actually creates the things you see in your computer, whereas command line is what allows you to move around your computer and tells it what to do. So, TextWrangler and the shell are two different kinds of platforms entirely.


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