About Me, Myself, and this Site1



I’m Ilja [ɪlʲˈja || Илья] – an Army Combat Veteran, turned Accidental Social Scientist2 turned PR Assistant / SciComm Aficionado, turned Computational Social Scientist3, turned Developer & Designer, based in Berlin, Germany.

I freelance as a developer, “data person”4, and product designer, and follow the path to become a solution designer 🦄 for not-for-profit organizations.

Currently, I’m working as a Tech Lead at New America’s D.C.-based Ranking Digital Rights project, where I’m responsible for the data infrastructure and information security. Before that I’ve been working for the Berlin-based Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP Berlin).


See the Talks page for slides, and workshop materials.

This Site

One focus of mine is on creating reproducible stuff with R (SNA, NLP, DataViz, GIS/Maps, Publishing/Writing/Blogging) — including this very kind of code-centric reporting / publishing as demonstrated by my website. This helps me explore and prototype the potentials of Code + Markdown + JS based workflows for replication-friendly, data-driven, FOSS-based Open Science and research communication - academic or not.

Apart from that, I have entered the realm of (research) software engineering, and am currently developing a modular data management system, integrating NodeJS, JavaScript / Google Apps Script and the G-Suite environment. I’ll talk more about this when we move beyond beta.

In general, what I do and how I interact with clients and employers is rooted in Human-Centered Design as defined in ISO 9241. I enrich this approach by the better parts from Agile / Lean, and other process and project management frameworks.


I’m always keen to explore ways to help not-for-profit organizations advance their mission. I create maps, data and information visualizations, or interactive stand-alone web apps with a low-dependency & low-maintenance stack (i.e. JAMstack - a static web site renderer with LTS JS framework versions & CC-based templates). Currently, I am implementing a tailored data management system based on JavaScript and full Google G-Suite integration. Check out my Portofolio page for a visual impression.

My Portfolio


My biggest project so far was being a Digital Officer (project-based, 1 year) for a big German think tank’s shot at digital publishing, digitally supported research, and digitized science communication. I also wrote a bit on the methodology (in German) re: digital tools & the makings of the project’s website. You can find out more here (in German) or have your own look at the results here.

(One visual pattern from the “Urban Spaces” project @ SWP Berlin)


You’ll find me on:

GPDR, Data Protection, Privacy

This is a static site written with R Markdown and compiled/rendered locally (with Hugo & by Blogdown) on my laptop — without a CMS, any data bases, cookies, trackers, or whatever. I don’t run a mailing list, don’t collect any data and there’s nothing to opt in here https://dadascience.design/*. When in doubt, consult this or XKCD.

  1. You can find this website’s source on GitHub: https://github.com/ellocke/GithubPage ↩︎

  2. Communication Science and Political Science, B.A. thesis on “Fifty Shades of Data”. ↩︎

  3. My Master’s degree is literally just Political Science as a major and (Applied) Computer Science as a “minor”, rooted in my own little epistemology of data-driven “(arti)facts”. I just finished my thesis on Usability in Social Research, where I conducted a case study to demonstrate the feasibility of human-centered design for infrastructure development in non-profit contexts. ↩︎

  4. Randy Au has written a very smart piece on being the first person to bring data science to a small organisations: “small companies don’t need a data scientist, but they need a “data person” (Au 2019). ↩︎