My first reaction is that, if you want to apply your skills to your library and your work, what you should learn will depend on your library system and your work.  For instance, does your ILS have an API?  If so, are there already tools written by other people you could learn from?  Does your ILS permit direct SQL queries?  Do you work with a repository or other database system?  Are there any relatively small projects in mind you would like to tackle?

As an example, a long time ago I started applying my technical skills to library work by learning to use AutoIT.  Our ILS was Millennium, and we did not have a useful API I could apply to cataloging.  AutoIT can create scripts which interact with the GUI of another system such as Millennium (simulating keystrokes and mouse clicks), and someone had already written some AutoIT tools and libraries for Millennium.

From a cataloging background, I would recommend becoming very familiar with MarcEdit.  If you don't know about it, MarcEdit is a free MARC editing tool with a lot of features and is under constant improvement.  Most people only use the basic features, but there is a lot more available to someone with the skills.  Some of the tools allow the use of regular expressions.  A sequence of tasks can be put together as a task list to be executed together.  And there is a script wizard which can create PERL or VBScript programs executing raw MarcEdit commands.  There is a very active mailing list for questions of all levels.

If you use Connexion Client, you could look at the OCLC Macro Language.  It is used to write macros to be executed within Connexion Client, primarily for editing records.  Dozens of macros are available from OCLC, and several other people have written macros and make them available.  I believe OML is based on Basic (yeah, it's old, but people continue to write really useful macros for Connexion Client, like deriving name authorities from a bib record).

I agree with Kyle's suggestion that you try to learn things as you need them.  I mention MarcEdit and OCLC Macro Language only because you may have an immediate use for them in cataloging.  Beyond that, it really depends on your environment, the scope of your work, and where you think you can apply a technical solution.

					Steve McDonald
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-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Athina Livanos-Propst
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 1:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Recommendations for the New Kid

Hi all,

I'm new to the list serv and am trying to build up my knowledge base for learning more coding skills that I can apply to my library and my work. I'd love to hear your best recommendations for teaching myself new tech skills, where to learn said skills, and which skill sets you've found most useful.

For reference, I have a cataloging background and am just dipping my toes into the wacky world of SQL queries, and I'm kinda loving it and want to play more.

Thanks in advance!

Athina Livanos-Propst
Digital Librarian & Editorial Services, Manager | PBS LearningMedia
O: 703-739-5485 | [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>