Thomas Elliott


I've been teaching myself various web development technologies since middle school. These days, I primarily use them to build coding applications that operate through the web browser. Such web apps have the benefits of being inherently cross-platform and facilitate collaborative coding. Web apps can also be programmed to automatically catch coding mistakes as you code, and can be built to make reliability testing easy. Finally, my web apps are built on top of MySQL databases, so they can handle complex, multilevel data with ease.

PONs Coding Application

The first and largest project I've developed for is the Political Organizations in the News project, lead by Edwin Amenta and Neal Caren. The project has collected newspaper coverage data on over 1500 social movement organizations. The coding application I developed was created to facilitate coding samples of articles from this dataset for various projects and papers. So far, this coding application has been used to code articles on the Townsend Plan, the LGBT Movement, and the Animal Rights Movement. Coders log in so the application can keep track of who is coding what. As coders code an article, the codebook entry for the variable they are currently working on appears next to the field, making it easy to review the codebook when a tricky case appears. The coding application also has a built in reliability testing function, where coders can code the same article, and the application shows which measures coders disagreed on and calculates a series of reliability scores for the article. One article has been published, and several more are currently under review, that used data coded by this coding application.

Dissertation Coding App

For my dissertation, I wrote a coding app in which I could code data about mainstream newspaper coverage of homosexuality. The coding app is able to store data at the article level, at the SMO mention level, and at the paragraph level. It is also able to alert me when I miss coding a variable, and can point out when coding is mismatched (as when the page is A1 but frontpage is coded no). I also coded report pages that can graph the coded data on the fly, letting me investigate simple trends in the data as I am coding.