We asked our LITA Midwinter Workshop Presenters to tell us a little more about themselves and what to expect from their workshops in January. This week, we’re hearing from Elizabeth Wickes, who will be presenting the workshop:
Introduction to Practical Programming
(For registration details, please see the bottom of this blog post)
LITA: We’ve seen your formal bio but can you tell us a little more about you?
Elizabeth: I once wrote an entire Python program just so I could have a legitimate reason to say “for skittle in skittles.” Attendees will meet this program during the workshop. I can also fix pretty much anything with hot glue.
LITA: Who is your target audience for this workshop?
Elizabeth: This workshop speaks to the librarian or library student who is curious about programming and wants to explore it within a very library-centric context. So many of the existing books and resources on programming are for people with extensive math backgrounds. This workshop will present the core concepts and basic workflows with a humanities voice.
LITA: How much experience with programming do attendees need to succeed in the workshop?
Elizabeth: Any amount is helpful, but nothing is required. I’ll be presenting the topics from the ground up, presuming that folks have never seen any code before.
LITA: If your workshop was a character from the Marvel or Harry Potter universe, which would it be, and why?
Elizabeth: I would say Snape, if I had to pick a character. But hear me out! The topic might seem moody and unapproachable, but on the inside just wants to love! Also, programming is really like potions class, where you are combining lots of little pieces very precisely to somehow produce something shiny and beautiful. My final argument: Alan Rickman.
LITA: Name one concrete thing your attendees will be able to take back to their libraries after participating in your workshop.
Elizabeth: Attendees will leave the workshop with a greater understanding of assessment strategies for material selection and a solid structure on which to build as a self-taught programmer.
LITA: What kind of gadgets/software do your attendees need to bring?
Elizabeth: Participants should bring a laptop (not a tablet) with an operating system they are comfortable using. Macs are easiest to set up but any current computer will work.
LITA: Respond to this scenario: You’re stuck on a desert island. A box washes ashore. As you pry off the lid and peer inside, you begin to dance and sing, totally euphoric. What’s in the box?
Elizabeth: Perhaps I’m singing because the box brought me a singing voice. But seriously, I’d be super excited to get sunscreen in that situation.