If Computers In Libraries is more of a consumption-based model, wherein we discuss the use of technological tools in service of the library, Code4Lib is about the production of such tools. Don't mistake me, those tools are built on other tools, but the role of the technologist is less that of a systems administrator and more that of a programmer.
Or, another way to think about it is the difference between the mechanic and the engineer. The mechanic doesn't have a lot of latitude, s/he works with the systems that they've been handed. Yes, they can tweak those systems and yes, this is critical, much-needed work. But no, they can't redefine the fundamentals to meet a customer's needs.
If I bring my '96 Subaru Legacy into the shop, I can't expect a mechanic to turn that into a luxury car. I can't have them change the experience of my Subaru in any of its essential ways. Coders/developers have more latitude than that. They can iteratively improve experiences that their users have.
In Code4Lib 2013, though I never got a chance to post about it, I realized that I had to learn/master certain toolsets. I gained awareness of them, but had only dipped my toe in the water. This year, however, I dove in... a bit. These skillsets, which seem common to so many Code4Libbers (& important to any 21st-century librarian) include:
- Ruby on Rails Programming