JD is a senior software developer at OpenUp.org.za
He loves making data actually useful to normal people. He gets excited about using the smallest amount of tech to make the biggest positive impact in the world.
He is trying to build a collective of senior developers who can have one foot solidly in simple, robust technology, and another foot helping non-technical people make very careful use of tech to support their work.
JD started professional life as an Erlang developer, but believes in picking up what's needed to get the job done. So when joining OpenUp he picked up Python and more and more ES6.
JD is always trying to balance the need to get deep in the gory details of code, and the challenge of helping decision-makers make appropriate use of technology.
In this talk I would like to share a couple of approaches and tools we at OpenUp use in our mission of empowering people and government through data, technology and innovative-thinking.
User-centered design is key to the technology and innovative thinking we offer this space. Implementing it in practice can be very challenging.
To minimise the gap between design and implementation on tiny budgets, we build frontends using WebFlow (a modern site-builder) and integrate that with (usually django-based) backends to help users get right to the story in the data. I will demonstrate our approaches for making this work sustainably on a range of projects.
We find it essential that project lead developers are able to help partners, clients, and the project designer connect the available data, where technology can offer help, and what users actually need. I would like to share what we believe is an accessible illustration of a process of exploring user needs and the opportunities to address them that ties directly into agile development. This has helped get everyone on the same page and facilitated these discussions.
We would love for others to use these approaches and tools where it might help them