This is Brian Boyer's résumé.

I began my career as a technologist and became a leader of software teams. But I wanted to do more to help people. So, I ditched the tech startups and found a new career in journalism.

It’s been a decade since I made the switch, and I believe my unusual experience has provided a helpful perspective on the many challenges we face.

Work

VP, Product and People

Spirited Media (2017-2019)

Spirited Media created a new model for sustainable city journalism. Shortly after joining, I led the launch of membership programs in our three cities — including everything from coordinating our messaging, measuring success, and leading the design and development of our website, emails, and every other audience touchpoint.

Since we were a scrappy young company, I also led a wide range of HR and operations efforts, including goal setting, measuring success, employee on- and off-boarding, IT and OPSEC, knowledge management, and otherwise supporting team management and success.

Senior Supervising Editor, Visuals

NPR (2012-2016)

I was hired to build a newsroom development team, but we soon merged with the multimedia team to form Visuals. We made all kinds of special things on the web, including NPR’s elections, books and music projects, as well as bespoke story presentations — all the while serving as the newsroom’s service desks for photo, video, data and graphics.

We believed strongly in user-centered design, evidence-driven decision making, and sharing what we learned.

Grant Recipient and Leader

The Carebot (2016) and PANDA Project (2011)

The Carebot is a prototype for a better way to create, measure and communicate meaningful analytics for newsrooms, built with help from a Knight Foundation grant.

PANDA is a newsroom data library, also built with help from a Knight Foundation grant. It is currently in use at dozens of news organizations worldwide.

News Applications Editor

Chicago Tribune (2009-2012)

Chicago Tribune hired me to start their first newsroom development team. We built the Tribune’s elections, crime and schools products, and worked with reporters on data journalism and investigations. We designed and built a number of news properties, including ChicagoNow, TribLocal (now defunct) and Hoy Chicago. Our team became the model for many newsroom development shops: releasing open-source code, blogging about our methods, and working for the newsroom — not the IT department.

Intern

ProPublica (2009)

I was the first intern on the news applications team at ProPublica. I helped the team implement best practices for software development, and wrote some pretty fun code and stories.

Co-Founder, Software Architect

Daixo (2006-2007)

Daixo was an effort to build an awesome electronic medical records system designed for small, private practices. I led software development and marketing until leaving to pursue my master's degree.

Director of Product Development and Senior Software Architect

SAVO Group (2005-2006)

I led all aspects of the product development process at SAVO. This included architecture, APIs and interoperability, and automated testing, as well as creation of coding standards and best practices. Organizationally, I led the creation and implementation of new practices in project management, hiring and knowledge sharing.

Software Architect

kCura (2001-2005)

I was the first employee at kCura, where I learned the craft of software development. We created desktop, server and web applications, and worked in both consulting and product development. We were early adopters in many technologies and processes, including advanced source control, automated testing procedures, and Agile development methodologies.

Consultant

Lante (2000-2001)

Lante was a dot-com consultancy that went belly-up as the bubble burst, just as I was getting started there.

Education

Master of Science: Journalism

Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University

I was one of the first two students enrolled in a Knight-funded program to bring experienced software developers into journalism. At Medill, I learned the craft of reporting, and for our final project, prototyped a set of alternative commenting models for online news — some of which are now commonplace.

Bachelor of Science: Computer Science, Minor: Technology and Management

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I studied computer science at UIUC, but spent most of my time in the ceramics studio. Unfortunately, engineers were forbidden from minoring in art, so I instead studied in the brand-new Technology and Management program, a sort of a mini-MBA for undergraduates.

You in?

Let's talk! I’d love to learn more about your team, and your vision for the future.

brian@hackerjournalist.net