Center for Investigative Reporting

cir A year and a half ago, I left the Berkeley J-School to experience life in a high-energy web development shop with central campus. I learned a ton in that short time – the Agile process, Angular.js, building sites as Single Page Applications, strict separation between back-end and front-end systems, rigorous code review processes, and much more. And I had the opportunity to work with a crew of Java, Ruby, and Javascript rock stars, from whom I’ve learned so much.

Since my career to date had been as a web tech generalist (i.e. one person wearing all the hats), I found the experience incredibly illuminating. And yet… the project and I had some “creative differences” which ultimately resulted in me leaving the department at the end of May.

I’ve spent the past month working on personal and freelance projects, studying, and job hunting. I longed to work with journalists again, and really missed working with Django, which still feels like the most natural and effective way to build highly customized data-driven web sites I’ve ever encountered. At the same time, I wanted to make sure that my work had some kind of higher purpose – I wanted to be part of something with social and political impact.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anything on campus that really fit my requirements, and finally made the tough decision to start looking off-campus.

Today, I’m thrilled to say that I believe I’ve found the perfect fit, as a full-time Django developer at the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley.

At The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), we believe journalism that moves citizens to action is an essential pillar of democracy. Since 1977, CIR has relentlessly pursued and revealed injustices that otherwise would remain hidden from the public eye. Today, we’re upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to produce important stories that make a difference and engage you, our audience, across the aisle, coast to coast and worldwide.

CIR recently merged with the Bay Citizen and California Watch, two excellent journalism organizations that have had myriad overlapping projects with the J-School over the years. In fact, walking around the CIR offices today, I’m meeting former J-School students and instructors I haven’t seen in years – kind of a homecoming!

I’ll be enthusiastically starting work in mid-July. Yes, it’s tough to say goodbye to the University, but it really is an ideal evolutionary step for me right now.


5 Replies to “Center for Investigative Reporting”

  1. Woo Hoo, Scot! Sounds like a perfect marriage between values, earning money and feeling good about your job. So happy for you. But, can you ride your bike to work???

  2. Thanks Molly! Yep, it’s right next to the university, so I’ll keep my bike commute for now. However, they’re moving either to Oakland or to Emeryville in six months, so the commute will change at that point – it’ll either become a longer ride or a combination ride/BART trip.

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