Learn to Write (Code)

This year is the year I teach myself to write code, and there have never been more resources available to humanists interested in doing so. At this moment, I would like to point out two interactive approaches as well as two more thoughtful approaches designed especially for historians (who, as always, seem better at producing these kinds of texts than other humanists):

If you are interested in a very simple, one step at a time approach to learning how to code — and those first few steps really do feel, to me, like what the first few steps must feel like to the soon-to-be toddler, transformative — then there is both [Hackety Hack][hh], which was first brought to my attention by [ProfHacker][ph] and [CodeAcademy][ca]. Hackety-Hack will teach you the basics of [Ruby][], a very powerful programming language that has also been refined for web work — e.g., Rails, which is the power behind Twitter — and CodeAcademy will teach you [JavaScript][js], another scripting language which powers some significant features of the modern web.

In the same ProfHacker article linked above, Ryan Cordell points to another resources for learning Ruby (for humanists): [The Rubyist Historian][rh] by Jason Heppler. (Unfortunately, at this moment, that portion of his site appears to be down.) There is also the terrific book [The Programming Historian][ph], which offers instruction in various ways to work in [Python][].

[hh]: http://hackety-hack.com/
[ph]: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/more-hackety-hack-less-yackety-yack-ruby-for-humanists/30175
[Ruby]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_(programming_language)
[ca]: http://www.codecademy.com/
[js]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript
[rh]: http://www.jasonheppler.org/2010/12/10/the-rubyist-historian-the-series/
[ph]: http://niche-canada.org/programming-historian
[Python]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Python_(programming_language)