At Dataharvest 2020 there will be 3 full tracks of data skills training – from the basics to the super nerdy. One of the trainers is Adriana Homolova, Slovak living in the Netherlands and working freelance and for the OCCRP. Here is what she told us:

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At Dataharvest we have three full tracks of data skills training with great trainers from all over Europe. Meet one of them – Jonathan Stoneman, freelance data and journalism trainer, “based in the UK, but a European at heart”:

What are you going to teach at Dataharvest?

This year I am teaching R with my good friend Luuk Sengers. Together we have come up with a method of teaching people how to get to grips with R’s “Tidyverse” suite of packages and leaves them with the capacity to go on learning after they leave the classroom. Read more

Do you want to go to Dataharvest, but you are really low on money? Here are a few tips to keep costs down without missing out on the good stuff!

  • Get an Early Bird ticket this week. The deadline for Early Bird tickets is February 15, and until then the price is €190. After that tickets go up to €225 and €260.
  • If you are too late for the Early Bird discount: Get together with 4 others and register together – that gives a group discount, so you pay only €200 per person.
  • Save on sleeping – there is a cheap youth hostel in Mechelen with rooms for 2-5 people, so share! You can search for roommates in the Dataharvest Facebook group. There is also the possibility of couchsurfing – staying for free at a host’s home. Our good friends at Hostwriter have a special couchsurfing for journalists. There are also a number of Couchsurfer hosts in Mechelen – and don’t forget that Brussels with thousands of couchsurfer hosts is only a short train ride away. (more after the picture)
  • If you travel by train from Brussels – or just from and to the airport – there is a weekend discount from Friday at 7 pm until Sunday, and the tickets are half-price.
  • You probably don’t want to survive on cup noodles for 3 days, and Mechelen has quite a number of cheap restaurants. Search Google for “goedkope restaurants Mechelen” and you will find a good selection.
  • Cheap drinks? We can’t really advice on that – but you will find it. And the atmosphere at the Vismarkt during conference evenings is worth the investment.

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Some colleagues ask if the Dataharvest sessions can be live-streamed, so one can follow the conference from afar – or maybe later listen to some of the sessions that one missed out on. We have asked Arena director Brigitte Alfter about the possibilities:

Will the Dataharvest conference or parts of it be live-streamed in the future?

No, I am afraid not.

Why not?

We want people to be able to speak freely at the conference – and know who they are speaking to. We want to share methods with each other as journalists and coders, and obviously this is professional development and nothing secret. However, we believe that the personal contact and trust building is a crucial element of method sharing, training and indeed cross-border collaboration. And personal contact is easier if you only have to relate to those in the room, not someone unknown on the other end of a streaming camera.

But many more would benefit from the sessions if you live-streamed. Couldn’t that make you reconsider?

Of course, it is a point to make as many as possible benefit – but value of the conference is really the combination of the sessions and the networking. We arrange the conference so people can get together and start collaborating. We take big pride in all the investigations that have been hatched in the coffee breaks at Dataharvest during the years – and that wouldn’t have happened with live streaming.