I spent the first two weeks of June learning to code. I was attending the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, a two week summer school offering weeklong intensive courses related to the digital humanities. Some courses are structured like a seminar with readings and discussion focused on a particular topic. Others provided students with technical training intended to broaden one’s digital skillset.

My two courses fell in the technical training category. In the first week I was given a crash course in JavaScript and its powerful visualization library D3. Week two saw me learning a bit more about the command line and getting my feet wet with Python. Perhaps I’ll show off my newfound skills in a future post.

But beyond the technical skills gained, the most remarkable thing about DHSI is the atmosphere. There’s an easy camaraderie when you’re sitting in front of a screen with a blinking cursor, having no idea what comes next. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first year grad student or a tenured full professor. So as I departed Victoria, I left not only with a bit more coding skill, but also with a new network of colleagues who are working to learn more and do new things.