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Frictionless Data Fellows Programme Onboarding

Programme Background and Goals

During the Frictionless Data Fellows Programme, Fellows will learn about Frictionless Data (FD), how to use FD tools in their domains, will give workshops and provide guidance to others in their fields and at their institutions about using FD, and will create written content (blogs, documentation, case studies). We aim for Fellows and those they teach to be able to easily use and benefit from data packages via specific tools or libraries and by well integrated support in their existing tools and platforms, towards increased efficiency and effectiveness. Fellows will also help support and grow a user community and aid in the adoption and learning of FD by demonstrating benefits to researchers in their fields. Frictionless Data is a part of Open Knowledge Foundation, and is funded by the Sloan Foundation. The main members of the Frictionless team are: Lilly, Sara, & Evgeny.

To Do First

Major Outputs

We will work together to make a roadmap of these outcomes. Don’t worry if you don’t know what these all mean yet - we will cover them all together.

  • Introductory blog post (we’ll be posting our blogs on the OKFN blog and the Fellows blog)
  • Audience map
  • Create a Data Package from your own data and write a blog about it (like my example blog here)
  • Validate a data set from your own data and write a blog about it
  • A final blog about what you have learned
  • Give at least 1 workshop to your network on using FD
  • Give a short presentation at an all-fellows community call as a final presentation (this will be virtual)

Topics We Will Cover

There are tutorials, blogs, and articles for each of these topics in the resources section of the Fellows website:

How we’ll work

The Fellows Programme runs for 9 months and you should work approximately 24 - 32 hours a month (so, 6 to 8 hours a week on average). If you find you need more time than this to get your work done, please let Lilly know and we will work together to help change your workload to be more reasonable while still achieving your Fellows goals. A time tracking app can help you keep track of the hours you are working (e.g. Toggl).

Here is the syllabus for the main outcomes of the Programme. We will work together to make this into a roadmap for each of you. Generally, you will watch videos, do tutorials, read articles, write code, and work on writing blogs during the week on your own time. Then, we will have one-on-one meetings every other week to check in and so you can ask any questions. On the weeks we do not meet individually, we will all meet together as a group to work in unison.

We work openly and collaboratively, meaning we use tools that the public can access/see, like GitHub, and also collaboratively, with products like Google docs. We’ll be using Google docs and slides, in this folder. We’ll use Google hangouts or Zoom for video calls, and we will collaboratively take notes during our meetings with this notes document. We’ll have most of our conversations on Slack (see more info on Slack below), but you can always email Lilly ( as well. The main Frictionless Data GitHub Repositories are here and the Fellows website is here All the code and other products we produce are openly licensed, so others can use or reuse the content.

Helpful Tips

Using Slack:

  • General channel: for general announcements
  • Random channel: for posting random thoughts
  • Questions channel: use this channel to ask questions for each other or to get help
  • Resources channel: post interesting, relevant resources here
  • Download the app & use it instead of using the browser version of Slack
  • @name notifies someone that you have messaged them
  • @here notifies everyone that is currently logged in (it is better to use @here instead of @channel, which notifies everyone regardless of if they are logged in)
  • Remember that people are working in different time zones than you are, so be respectful of their time away from this channel and be patient with each other
  • Use emojis liberally :-)
  • Use threads to keep a conversation in a thread
  • You can set your notifications under ‘Preferences’
  • We’ll use Slack to answer fun check-in questions every Monday!

What to do when you have a question:

  • Ask each other! Post your question on Slack. If you have a question, most likely one of the other Fellows has the same question too.
  • Ask Lilly!
  • Google it (seriously -
  • A good rule of thumb is if you are stuck for more than 15 minutes, ask someone for help

Remote working tips:

  • Over-communicate/speak up/reach out - it is hard to know if someone is struggling when we don’t see each other.
  • Set working hours & don’t feel like you have to be available 24/7.
  • You can reach out/ping me on Slack whenever, but I will only respond during my working hours (and you should too!)
  • Turn on your video during calls if you are comfortable doing so.
  • Take calls in a quiet place.
  • Use a calendar app (like Google Calendar) to keep track of our meetings, and show up on time to our meetings.
  • Learn each other’s time zones.
  • Make sure your internet connection is strong. Connect via ethernet if needed.
  • Set up a desk/working area with good lighting & a good chair.
  • Ask for help/reach out when you need to talk to someone.
  • Self care is important! We are working during a pandemic - be kind to yourself and to each other.
  • More good tips here: