I'd like to revisit a recurring theme for this blog — catalogers and metadata librarians learning to code. It's a topic I think about a lot — especially with regard to the direction our profession is going in and the skills we're expected to have.
Recently, digital humanists have helped me fine-tune my understanding of this issue. I think digital humanists and catalogers have a lot in common because, at heart, many catalogers are humanists — our background is often not computer science, but the humanities. I know that's true for me. At college, I majored in art and fashion design before switching to religion and theology.
The most insightful post I've found so far is The Code Problem written by Rafael Alvarado, Associate Director of SHANTI at the Unversity of Virginia. He addresses the question — Why should digital humanists code? — and talks about the assumptions swirling around coding that often cause anxiety and hold people back from learning what's becoming (in both our fields) an essential skill.