Which coding language should I learn?

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Armand Emamdjomeh of The Washington Post; Jennifer Peebles of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Ryan Murphy of The Texas Tribune; Christine Zhang of Baltimore Sun; Caitlin Ostroff of The Wall Street Journal
  • Date/Time: Thursday, Mar. 7 at 9:00am
  • Location: Salon D
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

You're pretty good at spreadsheets, sure, but maybe you're bumping up against the limits of a tool designed only to clean and analyze data. You'd like to start querying relational databases, scraping websites, making API calls, running statistical tests and/or building custom visuals to help tell your stories. If this describes you, it might be time to learn to code. But which coding language is right for you? In this session, newsroom coders who speak some of the most popular programming languages (SQL, Python, R and JavaScript) discuss common uses for each and show you how to get started.

Speaker Bios

  • Armand Emamdjomeh is an graphics assignment editor at The Washington Post. Prior to joining the Post, he was the Deputy Director of Data Visualization at the Los Angeles Times, and also worked on the L.A. Times Data Desk. Send him your tips on good donuts in the DC area. Find him on Twitter at @emamd.

  • Ryan Murphy is the Deputy Data Visuals Editor at The Texas Tribune. @rdmurphy

  • Caitlin Ostroff is a London-based reporter for the Wall Street Journal where she uses words, numbers and code to cover the world of finance. Previously, she was a data reporter at the Miami Herald, covering elections, gun violence and Mar-a-Lago. She’s a graduate of the University of Florida and co-director of @jourinternships’ online Media Mentors program. She’s happy to chat, so reach out at @ceostroff or caitlin.ostroff@wsj.com.

  • Jennifer Peebles is a newsroom data specialist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, helping reporters get and tell stories with data (and sometimes documents). She has previously been a reporter and editor with The (Nashville) Tennessean, the Washington (D.C.) Examiner and the website Texas Watchdog. 

  • Christine Zhang is a data journalist at The Baltimore Sun, where she reports news stories using data analysis and statistics. Before joining The Sun in 2018, she worked as a data scientist at Two Sigma and was previously an OpenNews fellow at the Los Angeles Times and a research analyst at the Brookings Institution. She has a B.A. from Smith College and an M.A. from Columbia University.

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