As this experience winds down, there are a couple of key takeaways that I’ll carry with me into the next stage of my project. The first is the time distribution for any coding project is about 80% breaking the existing code, 10% consulting forums and Slack groups, and 10% actually writing code (and that’s when it’s going smoothly). The second is a reminder about the importance of collaboration in any digital project. This has been a major part of every digital project that I’ve worked on, but it’s been especially true on this one. Without the help of a wide variety of people who’ve sat down to chat with me, walk me through things, or answer my questions online, my project would exist only in a notebook (the paper kind). I would especially like to acknowledge Professor Lindsay Mattock of the SLIS department and Nikki White in the Studio for all of their help and guidance. Finally, this experience has underscored the importance of being able to devote significant periods of focused time to these types of scholarly projects. Learning the code, breaking the code, doing the data entry, re-conceptualizing my approach, and developing projects like this one would not have been possible during the academic year and I cannot thank the Graduate College and the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio for providing the time, support, and space for my work.
Now, back to data entry and the next visualization…