We should consider ourselves architects of spaces and places, and authors and guides for interactors navigating through these often networked, socially mediated spaces (Carroll 31).
We have been discussing all semester the mediated, interactive, networked, multimodal nature of new media composing. However, it is often easy to forget about some crucial aspects of how digital (new media) texts are actually composed, what kind of “behind-the-scenes” stuff needs to happen for us, as “architects of spaces and places” in the digital world actually can build things.
A number of our readings have mentioned the importance of having a working knowledge of coding (as well as the workings of the web more generally), what it is as well as the basics of how to actually do it. Consider the following few excerpts:
- “He [Marc Prensky] further explained that the next language to be mastered is the language of programming” (Cohen & Kenny 6).
- “We think the savvy user should have a working knowledge of how the web works and why. Understand the basic functions of the systems of participation will help you to speak the language and create on a higher cognitive level, enabling you to become a leader in the digital environment and make higher-quality work” (Cohen & Kenny 49).
- “Although many web writers and editors aren’t asked to build websites from scratch, they should be aware of how web-authoring code works and how it makes digital content manifest in a browser window (Carroll 45).
- “Web writers and editors do not necessarily need to become proficient in these web programming languages, nor do they necessarily need to know how to develop an app. But it certainly helps to be able to hand-code pages and to understand the capacities and limitations of these coding languages” (Carroll 45).
So, the major debate at stake here is: “to code or not code?” Some thoughts, to get the conversation rolling:
- What, if any, is your knowledge of coding?
- Do you have any experience coding? What are you feelings towards coding? (fear, annoyance, empowerment, etc.)
- Do new media writers need to know how to code?
- How has the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) nature of much of today’s digital platforms changing the need for (and our knowledge of) coding? Is coding necessary?
- Do you feel that coding should be an integral part of the work you do as a student in the PTW major, and beyond in your career?
- How/why is (or could) coding be useful in your professional life? What is to be gained by coding? (is anything lost by it?)
(friendly reminder: don’t forget to check out the purpose / expectations for this, and other Class Discussions, before you get started here)