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 McClatchy
  • 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 a graphics reporter 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. 

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

  • Caitlin Ostroff graduated in May from the University of Florida with a dual degree in journalism and political science. She worked for The Independent Florida Alligator, a student-run paper serving the university and Gainesville, Florida community. While there, she helped start the #SaveStudentNewsrooms initiative, which aims to discuss issues facing student-run papers and find solutions. She's currently a Data Reporter for McClatchy's DC Bureau, based at the Miami Herald.

  • Jennifer Peebles is a newsroom data specialist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, helping reporters find and tell stories with data (and sometimes documents, too). She previously was reporter and editor at The (Nashville) Tennessean, Texas Watchdog and the Washington (D.C.) Examiner. She's on Twitter at @jpeebles. 

  • 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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