About CodeActually

I've been teaching Web design skills for more than a decade. A few years ago, I started applying more advanced coding techniques, as data journalism and data-driven interactives gained in popularity. I started doing tutorials and taking classes. I even did a fellowship at Stanford, where I took courses in their world-renowned Computer Science department and began talking to professors across disciplines that were teaching coding.

One thing that became obvious was that while tutorials taught the basics and computer science classes emphasized theory, it was hard to find examples that represented the journalism context. How should I use JavaScript to create a graphic that changed based on user's input? How can I search or filter data and present it on a page? How can I retrieve data from websites or application programming interfaces? And how could I teach these skills to mass communication students, who never dreamed they'd be learning to code in their communication courses.

So, after years of continued (ongoing) practice, trial, error, success and failure, I have developed the following series of tutorials to introduce programming concepts for journalists and professional communicators. It's everything I have figured out about coding as it relates to Web development. It covers most of the coding topics that I demonstrate in my Web Design and Coding & Data Skills courses that I teach at Texas State University, just all rolled up here in one place. I'll continue to learn and adjust.

Perhaps you've wanted to learn to code, but don't know exactly how you might apply it. Maybe you haven't had time to get into coding without a specific purpose. CodeActually is meant to teach you about coding in a communication's context. You'll make and design Web pages with HTML and CSS. Then you'll learn about interactivity with JavaScript and JQuery and apply it to the Google Charts API. Over time, I will add new tutorials and keep these updated.

Follow along step by step, then make the code your own by modifying it. You'll be launching your own projects in no time.

Start at the beginning or dive into the middle, if you already have some experience. Happy Coding!