As part of my OpenNews fellowship at the BBC, I'm doing a series of Learning Lunches for the editorial and design staff on my team.
The goal of these lunches is NOT to give tutorials on how to code or how to make specific things. There are many detailed tutorials out there, and they are much better than anything I could write.
The goal is to bridge the context gap, to demystify technical topics that come up often in newsroom development. By having a high-level but concrete discussion of these different technologies, my hope is to foster more productive collaboration among developers, journalists, and designers. Reports and designers with an idea will be able to better qualify that idea and evaluate different approaches when they have a basic understanding of the technical context and tradeoffs. Armed with that context, assessing "How do we make this? How long will it take? How might we need to revise the original idea to accommodate technical tradeoffs?" becomes a more productive two-way conversation.
To that end, these materials will involve as little actual code as possible. For those who do want to go deeper and start learning the nuts and bolts on their own time, I try to provide resources to point them in the right direction.
Because these materials are for actual in-person lunch talks, sometimes they will be missing a little bit of "you had to be there," but I'm writing them with the hope that they can be helpful on their own.
- SQL: The Prequel (Databases vs. Excel)
- Making Maps for the Web
- How the web works, in several bad analogies
- Avoiding mistakes when cleaning your data
- Web APIs
- XML and JSON
- Scraping the web
- Performance and the web
- Making charts
- CSS layout and responsive design
- Maps case study: making the same map three different ways from start to finish
- [Your topic here] - have ideas? let me know!
To make a pretty printable version of any of these, use this bookmarklet: https://gist.github.com/veltman/5772849