The Fifth Month

I’ve hit the halfway point. My sentiments:

  • I've started a lot of projects but haven't finished nearly as many. I think that's OK as long as there's still progress.
  • The lack of formal project management processes in the newsroom is starting to affect my enthusiasm, so I'm hoping to pivot and put more focus on developing tools and documentation rather than editorial pieces.
  • It just hit me that I have no idea what I’ll be doing after the fellowship, so that's something for me to start thinking about!

Here’s what I was up to during the last month:



SRCCON was a great conference. OpenNews puts so much thought and care into making the event a good experience for all participants, and it definitely didn't go unnoticed. The pacing was perfect, dietary options were considerate, and they provided a variety of activities that fell outside the standard afterparty, which was nice. Personally, I especially appreciated the "quiet workspace" on Thursday, which allowed me to prepare for my session on Friday without locking myself in my hotel room!

The sessions I attended were great, too, of course. I wrote about a few of them previously.


Published: A revolving door in the nuclear weapons industry

This was Super-Secret Project No. 1 from previous posts.

Check it out: Interactive Graphic

Project strengths: It's mobile-friendly (lightweight and designed for small screens) and keyboard accessible. It also passes all the checkpoints on my Data Viz for All: Pre-Production Checklist – so hurray for practicing what I preach!

Opportunities for improvement: From a technical standpoint, I'm satisfied with the way this project turned out. I also wrote a separate post about some of the ways we can improve our development, testing, and deployment processes – it's worth a read.

In progress: Super-Secret Projects for Reveal
  • Project No. 4: It's about the drought. I'm helping a data reporter with SVG and UI stuff.
  • Project No. 5: This is a big project for Reveal. I'm minimally involved – mostly helping out with JavaScript.
On-hold: Accessible SVG Generator

I didn’t have much opportunity to work on this project this month, sadly. Hopefully I can pick it up again in The Seventh Month because The Sixth Month is already booked!


There's a couple cool things coming up in the next four weeks.

  • Portland Code Convening: The fellows (each with a colleague from the newsroom) will be spending a couple days in Portland working on some open source projects. Should be a good time.
  • #NEJSConf: I'll be speaking about SVG animation at NEJS Conf: Javascript in the wild. I'm pretty excited about it!