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## 1. Getting Started
## 1.1 Begin()
[G: feel free to cut below. My main point of starting is to think about why we need to code as the departure point - first class /w] <p>
It is fairly common, or sometimes mandatory, having programming and/or creative coding course in university programmes like Computer Science, Information/Software Engineering, Computational/Digital Arts and Creative Media. However, it is still required some reasons for students to make sense of having a programming course in their programmes like Digital Design, Information Studies, Visual Arts, Cultural Studies where they may not want to be a programmer in their future career, or they even haven't thought about it is possible.
It has become commonplace, or sometimes even mandatory, to include programming in education programmes at all levels and across a range of disciplines. Yet this still remains relatively uncommon in the arts and humanities, in subjects where learning to program does not relate explicitly to career aspirations. This raises questions about what gets included or not in curricula, and why this is the case, beyond vocational needs, to what kinds of knowledge and skills are considered appropriate for some and not others. Certain kinds of privilege is clearly affirmed in these choices. For instance, and in very general terms, "high culture" related to art and philosophy has long been the domain of university-educated (wealthy, white) people over the "low culture" of ordinary people and the experience of everyday life. Programming cuts across this in interesting ways as both an exclusive and specialised practice for sure but also one rooted in the acquisition of skills with real-world applications in both work and play. We might usefully characterise this in terms of literacy -- once applied to the skills of reading and writing -- to further include programming. Indeed coding is often referred to as "the literacy of today", and as the 21st century skill "we must learn to master [sic]".<sup>[1](#myfootnote1)</sup> Argubly, knowing some basic coding skills will enhance employability in the future, but also allow for a better understanding of how things (codes) are *encoded* and *decoded* more widely.
One of the key arguments across the East and West is that coding is "the literacy of today", and as the 21st century skill "we must learn to master" <sup>[1](#myfootnote1)</sup>. Argubly, knowing some basic coding skills will enhance employability in the future. But to call a skill as literacy, it implies much wider social situations and cultural relations in everyday life and everyday use which is how Annette Vee, the author of the book "Coding Literacy", suggests us to shift our focus from skill to wider relations. As she says, "Seeing programming in light of the historical, social, and conceptual contexts of literary helps us to understand computer programming as an important phenomenon of communication, not simply as another new skill or technology"<sup>[2](#myfootnote2)</sup>.
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To use the term literacy implies much wider social situations and cultural relations in everyday life and everyday use, which is how Annette Vee, the author of the book "Coding Literacy", suggests us to shift our focus from skill to wider relations. As she says, "Seeing programming in light of the historical, social, and conceptual contexts of literary helps us to understand computer programming as an important phenomenon of communication, not simply as another new skill or technology"<sup>[2](#myfootnote2)</sup>.
Beyond coding literacy, we also observe other kinds of literacy in mainstream media, policy making and academic discourses, such as procedural, data and digital literacy<sup>[3](#myfootnote3)</sup>. So, what are the implications that coding is framed under the umbrella of literacy, and for whom? In her book, Vee weaves together parallel histories of writing and coding movements, to compare and trace what it means by literacy, and how to understand the rise of computing and the cultural discourse around the importance of code and coding. Indeed, it is commonly seen that writing and coding, text and code are used to discuss in parallel, which is especially seen in humanities genre like electronic literature, digital humanities and software studies <sup>[4](#myfootnote4)</sup>. You will also experience such discussion regarding code and language in Chapter 7 - Vocable Code. As in our earlier claim about gaining an expanded coding literacy by reading and using this book, we take one of Vee's arguments for coding literacy, which is to learn new ways to think, and that literacy no longer enough for just "reading for comprehension", but also "reading for technical thought as well as writing with complex structures and ideas" <sup>[5](#myfootnote5)</sup>. Such argument for literacy, however, is not only for individual but also concerning wider cultural and society levels in which one can create and make changes. This will lead to a different way of coding practice beyond specialized discplines like Computer Science and Engineering, the so-called 'STEM' curriculum and approaches. Although Vee's book is not a programming book and does not address the question of how to program, the book is very rich in terms of unpacking the notion of literacy from a historical and comparative manner.
Beyond coding literacy, we also observe other kinds of literacy in mainstream media, policy making and academic discourses, such as procedural, data and digital literacy.<sup>[3](#myfootnote3)</sup> So, what are the implications that coding is framed under the umbrella of literacy, and for whom? In her book, Vee weaves together parallel histories of writing and coding movements, to compare and trace what it means by literacy, and how to understand the rise of computing and the cultural discourse around the importance of code and coding. Indeed, it is commonly seen that writing and coding, text and code are used to discuss in parallel, which is especially seen in humanities genre like electronic literature, digital humanities and software studies <sup>[4](#myfootnote4)</sup>. You will also experience such discussion regarding code and language in Chapter 7 - Vocable Code. As in our earlier claim about gaining an expanded coding literacy by reading and using this book, we take one of Vee's arguments for coding literacy, which is to learn new ways to think, and that literacy no longer enough for just "reading for comprehension", but also "reading for technical thought as well as writing with complex structures and ideas" <sup>[5](#myfootnote5)</sup>. Such argument for literacy, however, is not only for individual but also concerning wider cultural and society levels in which one can create and make changes. This will lead to a different way of coding practice beyond specialized discplines like Computer Science and Engineering, the so-called 'STEM' curriculum and approaches. Although Vee's book is not a programming book and does not address the question of how to program, the book is very rich in terms of unpacking the notion of literacy from a historical and comparative manner.
In 2016, Nick Montfort, who is a poet and professor of digital media at MIT, published a book called 'Exploratory Programming for Arts and humanities', providing a hands-on approach to programming. In the appendix of his book, he outlines three key reasons to answer the question "Why Program?", which is also the chapter title <sup>[6](#myfootnote6)</sup>. This includes learning to program allows us to think in new ways by bringing different methods and perspectives to raise new questions. Secondly, programming offers us a better understanding of culture and media systems. Consequently, we can learn to develop better, or better analysis of, cultural systems. Last but not the least, programming can help us improving society by means of creating, designing and discovering programs. We are very much agreeing on Montfort's thinking, but at the same time we see this as a possibility to opening up how we might work, and think with programming alternatively and in multiplicities, while it is still an underexplored research area especially responding to current demands of bringing programming into arts and humanities.
In 2016, Nick Montfort, who is a poet and professor of digital media at MIT, published a book called *Exploratory Programming for Arts and humanities*, providing a hands-on approach to programming. In the appendix of his book, he outlines three key reasons to answer the question "Why Program?", which is also the chapter title <sup>[6](#myfootnote6)</sup>. This includes learning to program allows us to think in new ways by bringing different methods and perspectives to raise new questions. Secondly, programming offers us a better understanding of culture and media systems. Consequently, we can learn to develop better, or better analysis of, cultural systems. Last but not the least, programming can help us improving society by means of creating, designing and discovering programs. We are very much agreeing on Montfort's thinking, but at the same time we see this as a possibility to opening up how we might work, and think with programming alternatively and in multiplicities, while it is still an underexplored research area especially responding to current demands of bringing programming into arts and humanities.
As the first chapter of this book, we think that it is important to reflecting on why do we need to learn programming, which is also a way to set the scene and sustain our motivation to learn persistently. Knowing the fact that not all new learners would like to be a creative coder or professional programmer, we would then also address on code as means to work computationally, to think conceptually on wider cultural issues as well as to raise questions critically. As such, engaging with programming provides a way to creating changes in techno-cultural systems (which we have also discussed in the Preface). By understanding from many others especially our students who begin with our course without any programming experience, learning to code is a deep learning process with enjoyment and achivement but also comes with frustration in most of the times, specially there are new perspectives, syntaxes and structure to explore and experiment at the first place. It may not come naturally but takes time to familiar with computational thinking through structured logics and precise procedures.
//////ADD programm or be programmed.
### 1.1.1 Start()
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## 1.5 While()
- Culture of sharing code and tutorials, and shared environments
- Github: Matthew Fuller, Andrew Goffey, Adrian Mackenzie, Richard Mills and Stuart Sharples, "Big Diff, Granularity, Incoherence, and Production in the Github Software Repository" in How To Be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software. => Versioning
- Creative Commons and Licence
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## Notes
<a name="myfootnote1">1</a>: Having coding skills become an important direction both in education, corporations and policy making across West and East continents. See, for instance, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/coding-21st-century-skill and https://news.microsoft.com/apac/features/coding-way-brighter-future-2018-beyond/
<a name="myfootnote1">1</a>:
... like Computer Science, Information/Software Engineering, Computational/Digital Arts and Creative Media. However, it is still required some reasons for students to make sense of having a programming course in their programmes like Digital Design, Information Studies, Visual Arts, Cultural Studies where they may not want to be a programmer in their future career, or they even haven't thought about it is possible.
Having coding skills become an important direction both in education, corporations and policy making across West and East continents. See, for instance, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/coding-21st-century-skill and https://news.microsoft.com/apac/features/coding-way-brighter-future-2018-beyond/
<a name="myfootnote2">2</a>: Annette Vee, *Coding Literacy: How computer programing is changing writing* (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2017, 4).
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