I have always had a slight interest for programming since high school but after taking CS 100 in my first year I grew to hate it. I developed a basic understanding of HTML but I never found it necessary to apply any of my knowledge as most of my computer usage is simply for surfing the web and gaming. From that point I chose to stay within the humanities since I much preferred this style of learning but was very excited when this course introduced me to the field of digital humanities.

I found the nature of writing code to be tedious and boring until HIST 291 introduced me to ways my codes could help with studying history. Being able to locate the desired keywords from documents within seconds and manipulating the text would expand the possibilities for historians as more information could be processed within a significantly shorter period of time. I was able to write lines of code which would leave out my desired stop words throughout the text as well as computing the frequency of certain words. These processes would greatly help modern day historians with the vastness of information that is now being deposited on the internet and the practicality of coding would be irrefutable if one successfully learns the ins and outs of Python.

The Programming Historian was an interactive introduction to python and the fact that it’s offered for free online makes it a great way for anyone to dip their toes into the field of Computer Science. In the end of the day I still don’t feel this approach would become the dominant one in the near future since history is still a study dominated by older individuals but only time could tell. It could be argued that to learn a new subject as Python in order for the desired effects would be difficult for some hence the value would be unique to each individual. Unfortunately I don’t feel I will utilize this method in my study of history since I prefer the traditional approach. These new methods might one day make trips to actual archives obsolete especially when information is so easily stored and accessed through the internet but I feel the experience at an archive is part of studying history, hence why you brought us earlier in the year.

A computer may compute information at a much quicker pace but the saved time might be when the best ideas may come to a historian.

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