I'm Ashlyn. I'm a news applications developer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I get to tell impactful stories in interesting ways every day – whether it be with color, with code, with data or with design. I'm obsessed with what I do.

Before joining the AJC full time, I earned a bachelor's degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill. While in the journalism school, I experimented with entrepreneurial journalism in the Reese News Lab, built an award-winning website in the Galapagos Islands about the Galapagos Islands, and helped to restart the student chapter of the Online News Association. I was also the summer interactive graphics intern at the AJC in 2012.

I love being a news nerd. I'm a big believer in using visuals, data and interactive elements to emphasize narrative and further tell the story, rather than be used to embellish or adorn (I even gave a lightning talk at the 2015 NICAR conference on this subject). Right now, I'm really interested in mobile-focused design, incorporating web audio into visual stories, experimental storyforms, data visualization and visualizing location-based data without using maps. I'm an ENTJ – I'm pushy, I'm passionate, I'm ambitious, I love a good challenge and most of all, I'm crazy excited about the future of journalism.

Outside of work, my tennis leagues, my kickball team and my sassy miniature schnauzer, Sophie, keep me busy. I'm learning calligraphy and I'm working on my mandolin skills. I love Carolina basketball, Carolina beaches, good music and good bourbon. I love to talk – I'm always up for a cup of coffee and a conversation.

Let's be friends.



Excellent with HTML5, CSS3, Javascript, d3.js, responsive design, mapping libraries such as Mapbox and Leafleft, git, Adobe Photoshop + Illustrator

Proficient in Node.js, Grunt, Bower, Ruby + Ruby on Rails, MySQL, GIS

Working knowledge of Python + Django, MVC javascript frameworks (most experienced with Backbone + Marionette)

Lately I've been interested in... node.js and finding ways to streamline the development process in the newsroom. User-driven and audience targeted graphics + data visualization. Automating large chunks of my development process with Grunt, Bower and grunt-init scaffolding. Building static site generators and grunt plugins to bake out flat files from web databases and Google docs. Bots for journalism!




Over the line: Police shootings in Georgia
Designed and developed the series package and many of the featured stories (Shot at home, 171 shot dead, zero prosecuted, 'This was a murder and it was covered up', Unarmed and shot in the back), as well as the accompanying database and an interactive data visualization that explores the numbers behind the cases. The database will be updated as reporting continues. Site was built with Backbone & Marionette, but Grunt & Node.js were also very involved in the development process. This project uses two Grunt tasks I've built: one task, grunt-google-archieml, bakes out json from Google docs with ArchieML's node.js library and powers the text for the main story, the other, grunt-sql-bakery, bakes out json from a MySQL database containing all of the case information.

How does your income stack up?
Data visualization driven by user input looking at what defines "middle class" in Georgia and the United States. Worked with our summer intern on the project – she did the underlying work on the calculator and data collection, and I built the bar chart outputs with D3 and did all the CSS styling.

Tracking Katrina evacuees after the storm
I designed, developed and completed the data analysis for this data visualization we published for the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to show how many of Katrina's evacuees landed in metro Atlanta. I used FEMA data, D3.js and topojson, HTML, CSS, and Javascript to build the interactive, and used our project template to manage development, which is built with Grunt.

A half-century of mass shootings in the U.S.
Following the Charleston shooting in June 2015, I worked with our team's summer intern to design and develop this mass shootings package of visualizations exploring a half century of shootings, using data collected by the Stanford's Geospatial Center. I designed and developed everything but the data table and the map.

Women’s deaths add to concerns about Georgia prison doctor
Built out the front-end from a design laid out by my 2015 summer intern. Site was built off our Grunt-powered project template generator, which also used the grunt-google-archieml task I built and generated static HTML pages using handlebars and the json from the Google doc.

Atlanta Forward: By the numbers
A data visualization package that accompanied a kickoff story for the AJC's 2015 business reporting initiative about Atlanta's current state, and its future growth and development. Worked with a data reporter to collect and clean up the data; designed and developed the package myself. Built with HTML, CSS, Javascript, d3.js.

Crime in ATL
Designed, developed, researched and is maintained by me. I built the Ruby on Rails app that scrapes the Atlanta Police Department website nightly, stores the data in a MySQL database and renders the data in a REST API. The API is then interpreted by a separate single-page javascript application I built using Backbone & Marionette to power the front-end of the site.

War in our backyards
My first longform interactive project. Designed and developed entirely by me, with the exception of a few pieces of the "MAP" page. The project recieved an Award of Excellence from the Society of News Design in Spring 2015, and won two Georgia Associated Press Media Editors' Awards in Summer 2015 (1st place – Multi-platform Coverage of a Single Story, and Story of the Year). Built with HTML, CSS, Javascript, d3.js, Mapbox's javascript API and Tarbell.

Forgotten Memories
I designed and developed the project, with the exception of the data visualization sections, which were produced by another developer on the team, and worked with the reporter, videographer and photographer to construct the layout of the narrative. The project has recieved awards from both the Society of Features Journalism and the Society of News Design. Built with HTML, CSS, Javascript, d3.js, HTML5 audio and video, and Tarbell.

Exploring Obamacare
One of my first projects at the AJC as a news apps developer. This "choose your own adventure" tool let readers explore how the Obamacare subsides and the healthcare marketplace would effect them. Built with HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Other things I've been working on: I've been building a lot of internal tools lately, for both news app team use and for newsroom reporter & editor use. I've started putting together an AJC digital design guide for the news app team to implement consistent styling that matches our print styles. I've taken a front-end project template built by a coworker that utilized grunt as a task manager and bower as a dependency manager, enhanced the template, and built a grunt-init template generator around it to scaffold out a front-end codebase everyone can use. I've also built two grunt plugins to pull data from external sources and convert to JSON to work with in the project template – grunt-google-archieml parses Google Docs using ArchieML and grunt-sql-bakery connects to sql databases and pulls down json from any tables or views you configure to your grunt project. For newsroom use, I built a tool called QuoteIt, largely inspired by NPR Visuals' Quotable tool (and inspired by their open sourced code), which allows for anyone in the newsroom to create shareable quote images to go with their stories on social media platforms without having to install Photoshop or the AJC brand fonts on their computers.

You can see more of the projects I've been committing to on github.