My First Lesson in Programming

At a recent internship meeting, during that pre-business chat that occurs when you first sit down in the morning, Laura Glander mentioned how her father writes his books in Microsoft Word instead of the programs preferred by publishing companies. As an English major, this subject fell more into my field of knowledge than ceramics or stage lighting, right? Not quite.
I find the publishing world extremely interesting, and if I weren’t heading to law school after graduation, I would likely have aimed for a job in the industry. Despite that interest, I know little of the technical side. My knowledge lies more in the formatting and editing expertise.

The morning conversation at our internship meeting turned into a lesson on different softwares and the computer programming that’s in play behind the scenes. This was news to me as both a computer user and a writer. It helped me understand the issues that can be present in the more common and “user-friendly” software programs like Microsoft Word. I had encountered such issues myself, like having random percentage signs and backslashes appear when I copy and pasted a text. I had not understood the error behind the problem before.

I will never be a computer programmer, but I am grateful that through this internship I can learn about some of the behind-the-scenes systems at play in the world around me. And who knows! If I’m drawn back to publishing some day, there could be much more learning to come.

One thought on “My First Lesson in Programming”

  1. That was a fun conversation. Glad to provide some insight into what goes on beneath the surface.

    Just want to note that we were talking about LaTeX, a mark-up language for document prep.

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