After dabbling in code for the last few years, a couple months ago I decided to make a much more concerted effort to learn how to code. This has lead to many quizzical looks from people as they wonder someone who has spent the last 10-15 years working in Humanitarian Aid would try to learn to code.  I want to learn to code for a number reasons:

  1. There have been too many times when I’ve found myself wanting to make some small changes to how websites function or put a report online in an interactive way rather than a word document, and I simply didn’t have the skills
  2. I believe strongly that we, as humanitarians, can utilise technology to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of the work we do.
  3. I am passionate about developing technology which allows disaster affected to have a greater say in how aid is used and to improve the feedback we give to both communities as well as individual donors
  4. I’ve also learn it is important to understand and to be able to speak the language developers use, but also know there is great value in knowing the language of being a humanitarian
  5. The Future – there is no doubt in my mind that not understanding the basics of coding will be a disability in the future no matter what career you are engaged in, so I’m taking the plunge.

So far I’ve learned lots of the basics (html & css).  I’ve struggled with Javascript and Ruby, but when I keep at it, taking tutorials and doing small jobs, I’m slowly getting better.  Interestingly, I have found the non-coding work of design to be incredibly important as it saves so much coding time, when the design is correct at the beginning.

Previously, I’ve taken the front-end and back-end courses from Steer, which were good, but like most things, without continual practice and immersion, it’s hard for new concepts to stick.  Now I’m mostly taking courses through Udemy, which has been great. It’s never easy and I often wrestle with distractions, but it is starting to come together.

1 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Neil Penman says:

    Hi Amos, Enjoy the coding. Agile is important too as you can’t always get the design right first time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *