Mar 15–18, 2020

Starting Simple: How to Use Coding and Automation at Non-Profits and Small Businesses

Shondria Lopez-Merlos (Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church)

Who is this presentation for?

Data engineers, data architects, developers




Programming and automation often feel like methods that work only for big businesses and corporations. However, it would be wonderful if small data teams that work at non-profits or small businesses could also benefit. Common concerns are often the same: “Where do we start? How much will it cost?” and “How will I find the time?”
It is often best to choose simple programs and just begin.
As an employee at a non-profit with a small data team, that’s what I did. I incorporated simple Python programs to help streamline my workflow. This led to more projects which increased in complexity and resulted in opportunities to help other departments with their challenges.

Goals include providing attendees with ideas of how to look their own workflows to find potential projects worth pursuing and examples of how to combine several simple projects to create more complex ones.

While it would be helpful if the attendees knew at least one programming language, it is not necessary to benefit from this presentation.

Prerequisite knowledge

It is helpful if the attendee has basic programming experience although it is not necessary.

What you'll learn

Ways to look at their workflow to find potential projects and how to start with simple programs and build to more complex ones.
Photo of Shondria Lopez-Merlos

Shondria Lopez-Merlos

Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

Shondria Lopez-Merlos is a Data Specialist for the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. After making a suggestion in a meeting, Shondria was challenged to learn more about coding and automation. She subsequently taught herself Python and has begun learning HTML/CSS, SQL and VBA. Shondria is a former O’Reilly Scholarship recipient. Additionally, she is a member of Women Who Code and Women in STEAM.

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