2 - A blog by any other name

Posted on Oct 2, 2017

Coding for People People: what does it mean?

Coding is a pretty easy one: it means writing code for a computer program. People People: we may need a little help from my dictionary.

People People (noun)

  1. Humans who study other human beings rather than other forms of life or inanimate objects
    1. Social Scientists. Humans who study other human beings rather than other forms of life or inanimate objects, and who also think they are cleverer than other human beings. Often group themselves in camps, in which they sing songs about how their campfire shines the most light on the village. In 2008, Eco Camp’s fire got so bright that it caught on to the local woodstore causing a wildfire in the village. Eco Camp was baffled as to this occurence, as it had assumed that all fire safety tests had been completed. Eco Camp has assured villagers that it will make this assumption more firmly in the future.
  2. Humans who don’t consider themselves “computer people”
NB: Often the two definitions overlap, as with many of the Camp Elders.

Putting them together

According to definition 1a, Coding for People People is almost a direct translation of the name of my Master’s degree program: Computational Social Science. In the blog I am going to be discussing efforts to use the power of modern computing to shed greater light on society.

Taking the second definition, Coding for People People is about exposing computer programming to people who haven’t got any experience of it. I’m no tech wizard. My friends at school affectionately termed me a ‘neo-Luddite’ due to my attachment to my Nokia ‘brick’ phone and general aversion to technological advancement. I only got my first smartphone this year, and have no coding experience going into this program. I like to spend as little time as possible looking at screens and I’m not interested in any ‘social’ interaction which is confined to the internet (if you are reading this and don’t know me, pray introduce yourself!). However, here I am taking two years learning the skills and applications of computer programming from scratch. I hope that this blog can give people a sense of what it is like learning to code, and perhaps even a flavour of what they might be able to create if they chose to go on the same journey.

So off I journey, as an envoy for all my Luddites to the Land of Tech, to explore this new electric campfire. I can’t guarantee I’ll come back with good news.