<What Is Code?>

I enjoyed how Ford’s article portrayed programming as a culture in its own right, with its array of social groups and their diverse norms, values, and personality traits. It made code and its functions more accessible and developed my understanding by addressing misconceptions about the medium. It also showed me the power that coders have over much of our world as our public sphere becomes increasingly digitized.

I liked that many parts of the article contained inside jokes for other coders about programming culture even though I could not understand them, because they gave me a sense of the richer vernacular, traditions, and understandings that the culture contains. It gave me an incentive to learn more about code and hopefully appreciate the article at a deeper level. It was also impressive how the interactivity of code was demonstrated in the medium of the article itself. The use of multimedia, the structure of the article, and the satirical tone of the writing kept the content from getting boring or seeming repetitive.

I felt that the discussion of women in programming, although meant to be satirical, was also patronizing in phrases such as “it’s hard to imagine that they can’t write JavaScript. Programming…isn’t the most intellectually demanding task imaginable.” It is embedded in a discussion about the “average programmer,” implying that women’s work in the field does no more than meet the standard. I wish Ford would have addressed sexism in the industry in more depth, rather than pointing out the clear gender biases in STEM fields that most audiences are aware of. Although he addressed many issues in great detail, I felt like the treatment of this important topic was lacking.