How to up your development and tech game

This year, a number of our sessions will focus on developer tools and technology that power digital journalism. Whether you want to learn how to create projects with a viable future, have meaningful conversations with developers and tech experts, find out what’s really going on inside smartphones or get advice about running a newsroom on a small budget, we’ve got you covered.

New this year: You can now ask the developers questions in advance of the conference. Get answers to your dev and tech questions and help speakers understand what you’re most interested in by posting a question on the session page. Just click through to the sessions below and drop your question in the embedded form.

  • Tools v. Snowflakes. A great idea can be the start of a long-term project or a one-time-use creation. If you work with interactive news applications or graphics, this is the session for you. We’re excited to have Chris Amico, interactive editor at Frontline, and Priya Krishnakumar, graphics and data reporter at the Los Angeles Times, lead this session. Whether you worry if your project will have a future, work with future tools, or lead to repeated ideas, this session will show you the way to a middle ground.
  • The Break-It-And-Make-It Workshop! Get an inside look at smartphones, web pages and social streams in this interactive workshop. John Keefe, senior editor of data news from WNYC, and Christine Sunu, Open Lab fellow from Buzzfeed, will walk you through the “break” portion of this session. Here, you’ll have the chance to crack open those black boxes to learn more about the devices and data around us. For the “make” portion, you will try your hand at building simple information objects and will get a glimpse of other existing examples, such as information-enabled lamps and cuddle toys.
  • Small Team, Small Budget? Yes, You Can Hire a Developer. With many newsrooms facing small or shrinking budgets, hiring a developer seems like an expense you can’t afford. Thomas Thoren, data reporter at The Lens, will explain why a developer can benefit the entire newsroom, based on past experiences from a news app team built from the ground up. Keep an eye out for additional speakers.
  • Table Talks: Developer Tools + Tech. Our Table Talks are a chance to meet with industry experts and your peers to talk through the issues you’re most passionate about related to development tools and technology. Note: topics will be announced closer to the conference and we are not taking questions for speakers in advance for Table Talks, since these are participatory conversations.

These sessions represent just a small section of what we’ll be focusing on at the conference this year. Be sure to check out the entire ONA16 program.