• Week 93

    1 August 2014

    Week 93 was jam-packed. The majority of it was spent on Swarmize/Lewesdon, hammering out the site’s basic UI. By the end of the week, a lot of the core functionality of the site existed – search was up and working, I’d solved a lot of workflow issues and create an end-to-end of the creation workflow, and integrated all the code from the earlier Sinatra-based spike. Even at this stage, I’ve been understanding the workflows and IA of the project better primarily through the act of making: chipping away at the code to reveal what the product wanted to be all along. Sometimes, that means going backwards to go forwards, but the breakthroughs came in the end, and I was pleased with that.

    On Monday, I spent the day with David Varela, planning for the 3-day workshop we’re running in August for CreateInnovate. We came up with a flexible but detailed timetable, a variety of ideas for what we wanted to fit into the workshop, and a coherent structure that ought to help our participants develop their ideas. It was a fun day, and I’m looking forward to delivering the workshop with David.

    And on Friday, I spent the day mentoring on the ODI’s Open Data In Practice course. It was one of the best cohorts for the course yet – the participants all had fascinating backgrounds, and by the end, universal enthusiasm to take what they’d learned back to their day-jobs.

  • Week 69

    9 February 2014

    Back to the swing of things after a week away.

    That primarily meant getting back in to Contributoria: adding some small features on the back-end, tracking down various snags, and getting up to speed on where the codebase was after a month away.

    I also spent a day mentoring as part of the ODI’s Open Data In Practice course: feeding back on various exercises the attendees were completing, as well as helping them in their own personal exercises, writing code that went beyond their levels of experience. By the end of the day, there were some great presentations, and it’s always a delight to help people come to new understandings and see what’s possible with the information they have.

    In amongst all that: various meetings, lots of thinking, and lots of getting back to velocity for what now feels like 2014 proper.

  • Week 58

    24 November 2013

    The majority of the week was spent on Haddington, focusing on some particularly gnarly Javascript for rich front-end interactions, working with Dean on confirming what various interactions should feel and work like, and meeting up with the editorial team to discuss requirements for writers.

    On Friday, I spent a day at the ODI, acting as a mentor on the last day of their Open Data in Practice course. I spoke to the participants throughout the final day – which is largely dedicated to ‘making’. In particular, I helped a few of the groups with their work, discussing appropriate object design, and assisting with some CartoDB prototyping. The presentations at the end of the day were great, and it was as ever, always interesting to see how different people learn and think.

  • I’ll be giving a short lunchtime lecture at the Open Data Institute on Friday October 4th, 2013.

    It’s a talk I’ve given a few times, but never in public, called Spreadsheets and Weathervanes. It’s a short talk about the process of designing and making products and tools. What are the forms that data can be materialized in, and how do you go about working with data as a material?

    (Or, put more simply: it’s about the various types of data-visualisation I’ve worked on over the years and some lessons learned in that time).

    Tickets are free; you’ll need to sign up at Eventbrite.