As well as these taught courses I also maintain a repository of tutorials that give practical beginner-level introductions to using different tools and technologies, with a focus on their application in the newsroom.
You may have come across acronyms like HTTP and HTML, but what do they mean, and what does it matter? This class explains the concepts that underpin how the web works – which are simpler than you might think – as well as how you can use this knowledge to extract out the information you need, and understand how exactly your stories reach your readers.
Fuzzy matching has become an increasingly important part of data-led investigations as a way to identify connections between public figures, key people and companies that are relevant to a story. This class shows attendees how it typically fits into the investigative process, and includes a practical introduction to using the CSV Match tool I developed.
Want to take your first steps with code but not sure how to begin? Or want to learn how code is being used in the newsroom and if it can help you and your team? This weekend workshop is an introductory primer to learning to code, showing recent story examples, explaining the fundamental concepts in programming, and demystifying the jargon.
Graph databases are incredibly useful to find connections or patterns within our data. This is a hands-on introduction to graph database Neo4j, showing examples of its use for investigative stories including the Panama and Paradise Papers, and teaching attendees how to build a graph of noteworthy individuals and match them with corporate data to see the networks involved.
Whether you find yourself collaborating on code, data, or prose, GitHub can work for journalists. This class covered what GitHub is, the benefits of using it, and how it is typically used both by people doing data analysis and by developers. Attendees were shown how to create a first repository and make pull requests.
How can code help you or your team with investigations? This two-hour session was a hand-holding hands-on introduction to programming, showing recent examples of published stories and demystifying the jargon. Attendees were guided through the tools needed, including text editors and an introduction to the command line. This later evolved into a weekend course.
Good communication between management and techies can make the difference between a website or app that makes money and one that loses customers, but the culture divide can be vast. This evening course covered working methods, jargon, and how to brief to avoid tension between the business parts of an organisation and mysterious, headphone-wearing coders.