Developers explain why they like to work in newsrooms

July 23, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

Daniel Sinker

Of all the high-demand jobs software developers can take these days, why choose to work in a newsroom? Dan Sinker of the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project got six developers at The New York Times and ProPublica to answer that question on video. Their responses are revealing.

NYT developer Jeremy Ashkenas explained the allure of fast-paced development:

Something happens, you have to respond. What kind of app can you build in the next 12 hours, in the next 24 hours, that’s going to be able to tell a story? That’s a really fun challenge, and that’s something that you don’t have in a lot of programming.

ProPublica’s Jeff Larson talked about his desire to empower the audience:

At its heart, Dollars for Docs, for example, is a very, very simple app. It’s just a list of payments. But what it does via the technology and via putting it online is everybody gets to create their own story. And I think that’s the most important thing of what we’re doing in the news apps community.

Read Sinker’s full post for other videos from Tiff Fehr and David Nolen of The New York Times and Al Shaw and Krista Kjellman Schmidt of ProPublica, as well as information about applying to become a Knight-Mozilla Fellow working as a newsroom developer.

Earlier: Tips for strengthening communication between reporters, developers (Poynter) | 4 factors critical to the future of programming and journalism (Poynter).