Apply for the inaugural DataMade Mentorship Program

Published on Oct 09, 2018

The DataMade Mentorship Program

Applications are now closed for the DataMade Mentorship Program. We received 60 applications for just 3 spots! Wow! Stay tuned for news on our next round. If you have questions about the program, get in touch at

The DataMade mentorship is a six-week, one-on-one mentorship program for beginning technologists and the technologically curious working to develop a specific skill or address a specific problem. Apply with a learning project in your area of interest and we’ll put together a curriculum, perform code reviews, and meet with you weekly to help you scope, structure, and complete it If you’re stuck, your mentor is only an email—or coffee break—away.

Application closed on Oct 25, 2018

Applications due by October 25, 2018

You’ll have access to desk space at DataMade HQ, and mentors and mentees will meet in-person once a week for progress updates and pair programming. Beyond guiding the learning process, your DataMade mentor will offer career advice and help you navigate the technology landscape in Chicago. Mentees should plan to spend 9-12 hours a week on projects, meetings, and assigned work.

Some technologies we’re ready and able to work through with you: Python, Django, Pandas, Pweave, GNU Make, SQL, R, JavaScript, Leaflet, D3, HighCharts, Jekyll, HTML, and CSS.

Example projects:

We’ll also help you brush up on essential tech skills like querying a database, using version control and the command line, setting up your environment, encrypting private information, and submitting a pull request to an open source repository.

At the conclusion of the mentorship, you’ll be invited to write a blog post about what you learned and how it was done, for others who may want to follow in their footsteps. We value documentation at DataMade, and believe clear, easy-to-follow tutorials are key for making civic technology accessible to the wider public.

Who You Are

Are you interested in doing a deep dive into a programming problem, or dedicating time to finishing that SQL tutorial you’ve struggled to understand? Are you keen on strengthening your coding skills and acquiring new ones? Do you dream of someday building interactive tools, visualizations, and websites with interesting data? We are seeking mentees who are budding technologists; there is no need to identify as a developer (yet!) or have any professional coding experience. We are invested in elevating underrepresented groups in technology, and specifically encourage applications from people of color (particularly Black and Latinx); people of marginalized genders, sexes, and sexualities; people who are disabled; and people who are low-income.

Mentees must:

  • Have their own laptop
  • Be based in Chicago
  • Be self-motivated and ready to provide and receive feedback
  • Have the ability to commit 9-12 hours per week to the mentorship program, including at least an hour per week during business hours (8am-6pm, Monday through Friday)

Who We Are

DataMade is a civic technology company. We build open source technology using open data to empower journalists, researchers, governments and advocacy organizations. Past projects include Million Dollar Blocks, Large Lots, and Chicago Councilmatic.

Why We’re Doing This

DataMade is made up of developers who took non-traditional paths to computer science, and we want to uplift other non-traditional developers. DataMade also recognizes the lack of diversity in tech and in our own company. This initiative is, in part, an attempt to make our own professional networks more diverse and inclusive.

Where We’ll Meet

Mentees must be based in Chicago. In-person meetings will be in DataMade’s office at the Aon Center in the Loop, unless otherwise agreed on by mentor and mentee.

When We’ll Meet

The inaugural DataMade mentorship cohort will run from November 12 through December 21.

How Much

The mentorship program has no cost for mentees.

How to Apply

Fill out the application form by midnight on October 25, 2018. Finalists will be invited to a 30 minute video interview the week of October 29, and will be informed of decisions by November 6. We’re happy to answer questions and give feedback on project proposals; get in touch at before October 22 if you’d like to chat.