Hands-on Training

NICAR15 will offer a record number of hands-on classes throughout the conference in eight classrooms. You’ll be able to find topics ranging from introductory tutorials in data analysis to advanced sessions on programming in more than 100 classes. Check out the conference schedule to see a list of what will be offered. Please note: Hands-on classes are first come, first served, and can reach capacity very quickly. 

In addition to the open classes a limited number of longer hands-on workshops require preregistration and an additional fee. Register for these workshops when you complete your conference registration.  The workshops are listed below.

Optional hands-on classes cancellation policy
Cancellations must be sent via email to [email protected]. All cancellations must be in writing.  There is a $15 processing fee for each class until February 18. Refunds will not be given for cancellations after February 18 due to the limited seating in these classes.

 

Excel Español hands-on training

Sunday, March 8, from 9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

This three-hour hands-on workshop teaches journalists, in Spanish, how to use Excel, a powerful electronic spreadsheet for deadline and beat reporting on budgets, salaries, elections and more. Learn from fluent teachers how to dig deeper using the Internet and find valuable datasets for your stories. Seating is limited.

Two options are available for attending this training:

Option #1: Current CAR conference attendees can attend this training for no additional charge, however you must complete the registration form so we can hold a spot for you.

Option #2: If you are not attending the CAR conference, registration for this training is $35. In addition, your IRE membership must be current through April 1. 

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] 

 

Map Camp

(This class is currently full.  To add your name to the waiting list, please complete this short form)

Thursday, March 5, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

$50 (must be registered for the conference)

Learn how to uncover interesting news stories by mapping data with geographic information system (GIS) software during our intensive mini-boot camp and receive a free copy of ArcGIS Desktop*.

IRE and NICAR trainers conduct this hands-on training using the latest version of ArcView GIS. We will look at noteworthy stories that have used mapping and show you how to uncover stories using census and other data. Youíll learn how to display data geographically; import and query data; geocode to merge databases with addresses into maps. Attendees will also learn how ArcGIS Online may help as a storytelling platform. In addition, we’ll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.  

Participants should have basic knowledge in using relational database programs such as Microsoft Access. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

*Attendees of the bootcamp have the option to receive the following discounts from Esri. (1) A free license of ArcGIS Desktop that will not time out and includes one year call-in technical support and upgrades at no cost. Call-in technical support and upgrades are available on a nominal fee basis in year two. (2) A free one-year subscription to ArcGIS Online that includes access to Esri’s Community Analyst database. Please contact the Esri Media Relations team [email protected] for further information.


PyCAR

(This class is currently full.  To add your name to the waiting list, please complete this short form)

Thursday, March 5, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

$50 (must be registered for the conference)

Introduction to Python. This hands-on workshop will teach journalists basic programming concepts using the Python language. The daylong class will introduce language basics and useful libraries in the course of a typical reporting project: scraping data from the Web, inserting it in a database and analyzing the results.

Although the class is geared toward beginners, we’ll assume that you’re comfortable with databases and SQL and that you’ve hopefully seen a command line since the days of DOS. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

**Prerequisites: Attendees should be have familiarity with the command line and be comfortable with databases and SQL.

Intermediate Python

(This class is currently full.  To add your name to the waiting list, please complete this short form)

Thursday, March 5, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

$50 (must be registered for the conference)

You’ve written a few Python scripts that get the job done, but the initial euphoria has worn off. Your code is hard to understand. Bugs are cropping up. Worse, you canít always explain your process or results to an editor — or yourself. There must be a better way, but the path forward is not clear. If youíve had that itchy feeling, this daylong, hands-on workshop is for you.

After mastering the basics of writing code, you need to understand how to design programs.  To that end, the first half of this class will explore Python language features that will help you write readable, reliable and reusable code.  The second half will go deep on classes and object-oriented programming — critical skills for achieving fluency in Python and empowering you to work with and even modify third-party libraries. Weíll also review tools and best practices that can help beginner programmers break through to the next level. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. 

**Prerequisites: Experience with basic Python language features like variables, data types, conditionals and functions are required. 

Build your first news app

(This class is currently full.  To add your name to the waiting list, please complete this short form)

Friday and Saturday morning

$70 (must be registered for the conference)

This mini-boot camp will walk you through the process of building a simple, useful online news application from a dataset. You will get hands-on experience in every stage of the development process, writing Python, HTML and JavaScript using version control tools. You won’t stop until you’ve deployed a working application onto the World Wide Web. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday morning. Laptops will be provided for the training.

**Prerequisites: If you have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class.
 

Mini Boot Camp

(This class is currently full.  To add your name to the waiting list, please complete this short form)

Friday and Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning

$50 (must be registered for the conference)

Kickstart your data skills with IRE’s original mini-boot camp.  This series of hands-on classes will introduce you to spreadsheets and databases with IRE’s proven techniques. IRE’s experienced trainers will walk you through sorting, calculating and interviewing data.  You’ll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your own newsroom.

In addition, we’ll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.  Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Sessions will be held Friday and Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Laptops will be provided for the training. 

**This workshop is good for: Those wanting to get started analyzing data for stories. There are no prerequisites for this workshop and beginners are welcome.


Just enough Django: Distributed data entry in the newsroom

(This class is currently full.  To add your name to the waiting list, please complete this short form)

Sunday, March 8, 9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

$35 (must be registered for the conference)

Ben Welsh and Ken Schwencke present a step-by-step guide to creating a simple web application that empowers you to enlist reporters in data entry and refinement. The 3-hour, hands-on tutorial will teach you how to take advantage of the Django Web framework’s powerful administration panel, without bothering with all the other web developer crap. You will learn how to design database tables, load in data and quickly create a system for others to improve it. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.

**Prerequisites: If you have a good attitude and know how to take a few code crashes in stride, you are qualified for this class.