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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Lawyers Who Code

My name is Simon and I can't code. 

There. I've said it. Despite working with and around computers since 1990, I can't really tell one what to do - at least not in any language it will respond to

But as internet and mobile technology becomes ever more accessible, it's becoming clear that computer programming is something I should learn. After all, it's really about writing rules and I write contracts all the time. Since writing the article on Linked Data for the SCL in March, it's also occured to me that more and more legal contracts should be capable of being acted upon by machines without any human intervention. Indeed, as a colleague on the SCL Media Board pointed out today, Creative Commons licences have a machine-readable layer, as well as legal code and human readable layers - which is also something we discussed in the WEF's tiger team on Rethinking Personal Data in June last year.

So I've decided to get a Raspberry Pi and give it a whirl. No doubt I'll struggle to find the time, and maybe the kids will learn faster than me, but so it goes with the guitar and piano. Hopefully it will be as much fun.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear from any lawyers (or others) who've learned to code, how they're getting on with it and any top tips on how to go about it.