Ben Welsh, with our partners at the California Civic Data Coalition, recently traveled to Buenos Aires to take part in Hacks/Hackers’ Media Party 2015 event. As part of the event, volunteers finished decoding 1,400 cryptic CAL-ACCESS database fields.
Welsh is data desk editor at the Los Angeles Times.
Last week I visited Buenos Aires to take part in Media Party 2015, the annual conference put on by the bustling local chapter of Hacks/Hackers.
Along with my luggage, I packed hundreds of tickets for improvements to our open-source software and a simple pitch: Submit a patch, win a prize.
It’s an idea we call the California Code Rush, an informal variation on the classic code sprint. We had so much fun trying it for the first time at this year’s NICAR conference, we decided to do it again with California Code Rush 2 in Buenos Aires.
As expected, our industrious community rose to the challenge. By the end of the conference, 27 different people from around the world contributed more than 250 code commits. It added up to enough to meet the milestone we set: To fully document the more than 1,400 fields in CAL-ACCESS, the sprawling database that tracks money in California politics.