1.  Start with the basics

      There are several subjects that young people may need training in so that they can work on a data project. HTML and CSS are the basics of building a simple website and making it functional and attractive.

    2. Work your way up 

      The young people will need to work their way up to JavaScript and jQuery – which are programming languages that allow you to create animations on websites and send and store information from webpages. Knowing these languages is key to understanding how web pages can be made “responsive”, which means the webpage will adapt to display differently across devices (e.g. on a mobile, tablet or a desktop screen).

    3. Find a facilitator who can do ‘front end’ and ‘back end’ code 

      Working with data feeds is complicated. It involves two sides, known as a ‘front end’ and a ‘back end’. The front end is everything that the user will see and interact with, such as the designs and animations. The back end is the data and programming that sits behind it.  For example: you might be making a data visualisation of the energy your building uses each day. In order for an animation to change to reflect the energy consumed, you will need to link the webpage and the animation (‘front end’) to the live feed of energy data (‘back end’). Presumably this feed will be coming out of a smart meter device that measures energy consumption, and this information will need to be stored in a database. That data will control the animation. Building the database, understanding the feed and knowing how to connect the two is the ‘back end’.

    4. Have the same coder deliver all the workshops  

      The more you know about web coding, the more you know that it is possible to achieve the same outcome in a variety of different ways. Having multiple people delivering the workshops may mean that several ways of answering the same question will be explained simultaneously! Also there is no guarantee that one coder will know, understand, or like another coder’s work. Keeping one coder for the duration of the project will maintain consistency within the workshops for the young people.

    5. Know which tools will work for your project 

      Initially, it’s probably easiest to stick to the popular and standard ways of working, using MySQL and JSON feeds for databases for example. (Find these tools “link here”).  Tools like Node Red and MongoDB can help with the ‘back end’, providing you have a facilitator who is well versed in these tools and can explain them to the team. (You can find these tools “link here”). Don’t worry if you don’t know what these terms mean, but make sure you bring in a facilitator who does!backend