Adrian Holovaty

Hi there! I’m a web developer and musician in Chicago.

Blog

March 9 — Using automated screenshots to test <canvas> and user interfaces

July 25 — How to solve CORS IE font issues with Amazon Cloudfront

March 17 — Announcing the Soundslice sheet music player

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Django web framework

I’m co-creator and former co-Benevolent Dictator For Life of the open-source Django web framework, which is used by tens of thousands of people around the world! I retired in early 2014.

I co-wrote two editions of a now-outdated book about web development with Django, published by Apress and available for free online.

Soundslice

I spend my days (and many nights) building Soundslice, quite possibly the best tool for learning a piece of music! View a demo and learn more.

I’ve given a couple of presentations about it, including a tech talk at 37signals and an origin story at the XOXO Festival.

EveryBlock

I founded EveryBlock, a neighborhood news and discussion site, in 2007. We sold it to msnbc.com in 2009. I worked there until mid-2012.

Unfortunately msnbc.com was later bought by NBC News, which decided to shut it down in early 2013. Then Comcast, which owns NBC News, brought it back. It’s now operated by some people in Philadelphia and I’m not involved.

Music

I’m a guitarist who plays fingerstyle and gypsy-jazz music. I’ve been posting YouTube videos since 2007.

The videos are categorized for you here: multitracks, fingerstyle, Beatles, gypsy jazz.

The YouTube homepage once featured my acoustic cover of the MacGyver theme. Never did figure out why. My Mario 2 gypsy-jazz video has also made the rounds.

If you like my stuff, consider becoming a patron and tossing me a buck or two each time I post a new video.

You can also follow my Facebook musician page for a six percent chance of getting notified whenever I have new music news.

I’ve also released an album composed of some of those YouTube covers.

Guitarists, I have tabs for you!

Journalism

I have a degree in journalism and have worked at a number of Internet news companies. Before starting EveryBlock, I worked at ajc.com, LJWorld.com and washingtonpost.com.

During that time, I made a name for myself as somebody who did “journalism via computer programming” — which was then a new concept. I wrote a lot about this and traveled the world giving talks about how news companies should employ programmers and use their data more effectively.

An essay of mine from 2006 inspired the awesome, Pulitzer-Prize-winning site Politifact and apparently is now required reading at j-schools. Hi, students!

I’m no longer professionally involved in journalism. I was ready to do new things.

Mashups

My 2005 site chicagocrime.org (site no longer exists) was one of the original Google Maps mashups and was seen as influential.

It played a small part in influencing Google to release a mapping API. The New York Times named it one of the year’s best ideas. It inspired the creation of the Mashable blog. Most importantly, it helped a lot of Chicagoans get a sense of neighborhood crime.

Around the web

My Twitter account is mostly stuff about web development.

My LinkedIn profile has the professional history.

My GitHub profile has some stuff.

Other fun: Flickr photos, Pinboard.in bookmarks.

In the media

Contact me

To get in touch, either use this form or email adrian [at] holovaty.com.

Random pages on this site!