Partner Training Events



NICAR20: Techraking – Bootstrapping the News
Sponsored by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting


Wednesday, March 4 | 2-6 p.m. in Bissonet (3rd floor)

Give us four hours and your laptop, and we’ll send you into NICAR with a fully-functioning data-crunching machine and the knowledge to use it.

One of the biggest hurdles to learning programming is the often bewildering process of setting up your computer. Veteran programmers and data crunchers from Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting will give you a virtual playground on your personal laptop that will allow you to explore all the tools you’ll gather throughout the conference. In this four-hour workshop, we’ll introduce crucial programming concepts and tools and — most importantly — why we use them.

You’ll walk into conference sessions with a laptop loaded with many of the tools presenters will be talking about, and a leg up as you continue developing your skills once you’re back home.

Cost: $75 per person

Audience size: 50 people

Target audience: People with no or minimal exposure to programming who need a jumping off point to get their feet wet so they are prepared for programming classes at the conference.

Requirements to attend: Laptop with administrative privileges

Minimum technical specifications: Windows: Version 8 or higher; Mac: OS 10.9 (Mavericks) or higher. 4 GB of RAM, 15 GB of free hard-drive space. English layout keyboard strongly preferred. (Other layouts may work, but we’ve had trouble with certain characters in the past and our ability to provide tech support will be limited.)

Participants will walk away with a fully functioning dev machine (on their personal laptop) that includes: VirtualBox, Ubuntu/Xbuntu, Bower, csvkit, Django, Fabric, Git, Grunt, Ilene, Jupyter, MySQL, Node.js, NPM, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, PANDAS, pyenv, Python, QuantumGIS, R, RBENV, Rails, Ruby, SQLite, Tabula, virtualenv/virtualenvwrapper

Basic Schedule:

I. Programming: Why should you care?

II. What we’re about to install

III. Installing VirtualBox and Ubuntu

IV. Brief overview of stuff you got with your install

V. Using your new powers

A. Navigating the command line

B. Updating/installing software with apt

C. Working with open-source software

D. Basic version control (git)

E. How to get help