Sisi Wei

Currently a News Apps Dev at ProPublica. Previously a Graphics Editor at the Washington Post. Co-founder of Code with me. I'll probably blog a lot about news games, programming education for journalists, and other shiny things. Learn other things about me.

〉〉 Fiber One Bars vs. Candy Bars

Some days I like to grab a Fiber One bar as breakfast if I’m running late in the morning. However, I was recently told that it’s basically the same as eating a candy bar. Thus, I set out to investigate.

The result?

Basically, Fiber One bars are way better for you than candy bars, plus they provide that promised fiber to keep you feeling full.

Here’s the actual spreadsheet.

Now, back to thinking about lunch.


〉〉 How to think about D3.js

While I was trying to get my head around D3.js for the past few days, I hit a fundamental block and finally asked myself (and Twitter): How should I be thinking about programming with D3?

These pieces by Mike Bostock helped enormously, and if you’re in the same situation as I was, I’d recommend that you’d read these in order:

Please note that reading these will be truly helpful to you if you already know how to program with Javascript.

Thank you Ryan Pitts, Nikhil Sonnad, Geoff Hing and Evan Henſleigh for sending these to me last week.


Sisi Wei ignite-HD 720p Video Sharing from MIT CMS/Writing on Vimeo.

Running from the zombie apocalypse. My ignite talk at the MIT Civic Media conference this year.


After 180 Websites, I'm Ready to Start the Rest of My Life as a Coder »


I learned to code by building 180 websites in 180 days and I’m really looking forward to a vacation!

For the last six months I’ve been putting in countless late nights and stressing out over many near failures but it was all worth it to reach my goal.

The details of what I’m talking about can…

Whenever I’m asked “How do I learn to code?” my answer is always that you have to start small. Pick a very small project, complete it, and then pick a slightly bigger project to work on next.

Through her own 180 day marathon, Jennifer Dewalt is showing all of us what we could do in 180 days.


2015 will be the year you pitch a NICAR lightning talk  »


Noah Veltman: The Command Line Murders: Teaching the Terminal with a Detective Noir »


Last weekend at the Mozilla Festival, a group of journalists sat down to solve a murder mystery on the command line.


Each person got a set of folders containing text data files full of information about the mean streets of Terminal City. The files listed who lived there, the vehicles…


Noah Veltman: On journalism and learning to code (again) »


In a recent piece for The Atlantic, Olga Khazan argues that learning to code is a poor use of time for most aspiring journalists who could instead be using that time honing their other skills. Like many of my colleagues who have committed acts of code in a newsroom, it really rubbed me the…

In addition to what Noah has already written, I simply have one question for any student who is interested in going into journalism.

There are stories that you do not have the capability to tell without knowing how to program, because there are simply not enough hours in the day for you to analyze data manually. What used to take reporters years to compile now can take days. Are you willing to let that capability fall away from you without even trying? Give it your all, and see what amazing things you can do. Then decide if you like it or not.


〉〉 What News Nerds Can Learn from Game Nerds, Day One

Today was the first day of the 10th Games for Change Festival, a conference in New York organized by Games for Change, an organization that seeks to create games with a positive social impact.

If you think about it, positive social impact is a goal that’s similar to ours as journalists. Naturally, as I listened to the diversity of presentations today dedicated to social reach, education, impact and even fighting censorship, I found many lessons that apply to what we’re doing in newsrooms.

Read more on the ProPublica Nerd Blog.


〉〉 Jobs + Fellowship

Updated on 5/31/13: With another job from the Financial Times!

Updated on 5/30/13: With two more jobs links from Al Jazeera America!

I just wanted to take a moment to recognize the amazing jobs that have been posted in the interactive/data journalism sphere in the past week. Journalism schools, please help out your faculty members who are teaching this kind of journalism! There are jobs!

Financial Times - Interactive Data Journalist

The Financial Times is seeking an experienced data journalist to join its Interactive News team, a growing group of journalists, designers and developers who work at the heart of the FT newsroom to develop innovative forms of online storytelling.

Guardian US - Interactive Journalist

Guardian News & Media is seeking a creative and collaborative Interactive Journalist to join our interactive development team to create and develop engaging and informative interactive pieces for our website”

Mother Jones - Back End Web Developer

"As a web developer, you will play a key role in helping us build a new and more powerful platform for hard-hitting investigative news."

Al Jazeera America - Interactive Design DeveloperSenior Interactive DeveloperInteractive Developer

Al Jazeera America seeks an energetic and highly-skilled interactive designer (also known as a Design Technologist) to help pitch, design and build news applications, products and experiences on all our digital platforms. ”

Washington Post - Graphics Editor

We are looking for a full-time graphics editor with strong reporting, data analysis and explanatory skills to join the graphics team at The Washington Post. ” - Interactive Designer

TIME has an immediate opening for a full-time Interactive Designer to assist the Art Director in managing all aspects of visual design and user experience on its award-winning website. ”

ProPublica - News Applications Fellow

"It’s a great fellowship for, among others, a coder who’s civic-minded and interested in working with journalistic problems and data sets, or a j-school grad who wants to tell stories with code, or a digital humanities student looking to try their skills in journalism."


For those looking for jobs in this area, make sure to keep an eye on News Nerd Jobs. It’s not as up-to-date as it could be, but you can tell there are still new postings there.


〉〉 HeartSaver


Check out HeartSaver, an experimental news game that Al Shaw, Amanda Zamora and I created at the GEN Editors’ Lab hackathon last weekend. For interested parties, make sure to read our Nerd Blog post on how we did it, and what we learned.