Just been catching up with this series from April, ‘Codes that Changed the World‘, from BBC Radio 4 about the history of programming languages. Really enjoyable and accessible so I’m linking to it here. The series is presented by Aleks Krotoski and looks at four key programming languages – Fortran, Cobol, Basic and Java. I really liked the idea that Basic was the punk rock of programming. Also notable how many women were prominent in the story of these languages. The music for the series was very good too – but sadly I can’t find any further information about who made it.
Since the beginning of 2015 I have been doing some work for a London borough helping them develop their approach to open data.
As part of a wider agenda to make local government more open and transparent councils are being encouraged to publish some of the non-personal information they gather and use as open data. This can be something of a challenge both in terms of the practical implementation of the mechanisms needed to do this and the cultural change needed to see such an activity as valuable.
I’ve been working on the practical side of things. Helping to develop systems and processes that can be used to meet this particular organisations ambitions towards open data but also ones that work within the constraints of time and resources available.
It has been interesting work and I’ve begin to develop a real feel for the wider open data agenda, as well as also seeing where many of the issues and frustrations of such a new field are arising. It is a field that I think I can contribute to and so am planning to try and develop further expertise in open data. Obviously, my starting point is to approach it from a local government perspective but I am already getting interested in some of the wider issues. Naturally I am also starting to look at how my WordPress development skills can be applied to this topic.
As I delve further into open data I will be writing up notes and discoveries here. Follow the open data category find my posts on this subject.