Joe Spurr

Web Developer, Project Manager, Multimedia Journalist

Currently

  • Solutions Consultant at Spredfast, an Austin-based SaaS startup and 2015 Forrester SRP Leader

Previously

  • Helped build a search app for Boston University to make government data/documents more easily discoverable using Scrapy, Tesseract, Postgres, Django, and Elasticsearch
  • Studied UX Design at General Assembly
  • Reporter and Senior Producer for Bad Chemistry, a multimedia project by Boston's NPR news station (WBUR) to deeply investigate the worst criminal justice scandal in Massachusetts history
  • Director of OpenCourt, a major Knight-funded project to cultivate modern online access to local justice systems — which, through landmark state supreme court decisions, concurrently set a precedent for online press rights
  • Staff Web Developer for San Diego's NPR station
    • Piloted three-month front and backend relaunch of kpbs.org (HTML, CSS, Django, jQuery)
    • Investigated surge of Tijuana drug cartel murders using interactive XML map layers
    • Seeded innovative reportage methods (listen to my live radio interview) used during the massive 2007 wildfires — resulting in an Associated Press Mark Twain award, national meta coverage, and disaster response case studies by Google and Stanford University

About

I am a web developer, multimedia journalist, and project manager who often toggles roles according to what's on deck. I have a history of helping media organizations use new storytelling methods to inform the public and evolve journalism.

On the content side, my bachelor's and fundamental background is print reporting and editing, which I've been doing since 2000. I cut my teeth reporting local news for The Boston Globe and later covered server setups as a staff writer for an IT magazine. I've since also become a professional photographer, videographer, and radio producer, including recent full-time experience covering the Boston Marathon bombings, producing for Morning Edition, and operating camera for a crowd-funded, feature-length documentary.

I started coding as a blogger who became very curious how it all worked. My father is a software architect and my mother is a community organizer and former nurse. Our shared DNA could explain how my deeper satisfactions usually involve human connection or solving puzzles.

I love music, bicycles, tennis, drums, massage, yoga, and my family — especially my beautiful wife and daughter.

Thoughts

Nothing compares to a well-executed narrative, but I also agree with Clay Johnson that programmers are the new scribes. Structured journalism provides invaluable context over time, and we should all be tilling this soil. Stock and flow both matter (i.e. show your work).

I think it's important to remember that language has limits, gratitude is key, and we're here to help each other.

Very small teams can do very big things.

Blog

I show some of my photos, occasionally post code, collect quotes, et cetera over here.

Photography

Check out some of my photography.

Résumé

LinkedIn