CODING: A NEW LANGUAGE
By: Laeeka Edries
“Programming is not as scary as you think it may be,” says Jenna Leah Turpin, a B-Tech Visual Communications student. Jenna will be holding workshops that will teach individuals how to create digital images through programming.
The workshops ran in conjunction with the DUT Digital Arts Festival, where beginners who had not written computer code before were welcomed. Jenna used a programming language and software called Processing.
Jenna graduated with a Graphic Design diploma in 2007 and has worked as a designer since, and taught English overseas. “Code started to appeal to me when I discovered its relationship to graphics,” said Jenna.
Jenna created a few web pages in High School but only embraced code as a medium early this year after she encountered the Processing programme which she used at the festival.
Processing is an open source language developed with artists and designers in mind. It’s perfect for making digital images (still and moving), is supported by an enthusiastic online community and works on all operating systems. For someone who hasn’t experienced writing code before – this is an easy introduction in an environment open to experimentation and play.
It’s an introduction to core programming concepts, the kinds of images you can make and how to start up a basic ‘sketch’ in Processing.
It’s a chance to learn something, to participate and to open your mind to software.
“The beauty of programming for screen graphics is you will write 5 lines of code and immediately get visual results for your efforts. Once you’ve learned one programming language, it makes it a lot easier to learn others so who knows where this could go?” asked Jenna.
According to Jenna, code can be compared to a language, instrument, medium or tool – it enables you to create, express and communicate and it is that combination of technical and artistic that appealed to her.
Gabe Newell, founder and president of Valve said: “The programmers of tomorrow are the wizards of the future. You’re going to look like you have magic powers compared to everybody else.”
Software is playing a role in every other industry in the world, even creative industries. If you’re creative and want to express it through technology, this is going to get you thinking about software in a whole new way.