Highlights of the Research Software Camp: Next Steps in Coding

Posted by j.laird on 6 June 2022 - 10:00am
Overview of the Camp's live sessions
Overview of the Camp's live sessions

Our Research Software Camp: Next steps in coding ran from 16 - 27 May 2022 with a focus on improving computational and training skills at beginner and intermediate levels. Here we share some of the highlights from the Camp.

We run Research Software Camps over two weeks twice a year, each exploring a different topic. The Camps aim to raise awareness of good research software practices in both our existing communities and among new audiences who haven't engaged with the Software Sustainability Institute before.

Live sessions

Next Steps in Coding was our third Camp and our biggest yet with 13 live sessions!

At the start of the Camp we held a Panel Discussion on Research software career paths and training needs. The panel explored the current challenges and gaps in training and skills around following specific career pathways in research software in academia and industry. Watch it here:

We delivered a variety of workshops aimed at beginner and intermediate research coders, as well as those interested in creating training materials and developing their instructor/training skills. We also went international with our first workshops delivered in languages other than English, with an introduction to R in Spanish and an introduction to Python in Italian!

We ran a Software Surgery for anyone to get expert advice on an aspect of software development from a Research Software Engineer. These 20-minute sessions were intended to provide a friendly, informal space for researchers to ask questions and discuss their software challenges, such as coding issues, using a particular technology or having another pair of eyes to look over some code and suggest improvements.

Mentorship programme

We have grown our Learning to Code mentorship programme since we started it at our previous Research Software Camp with four mentees and volunteer mentors. This Camp we have paired around 20 mentees with mentors who are helping beginner learners to improve their coding and computational skills. The mentorship kicked off at a launch event on the first day of the Camp and will last 12 weeks - stay tuned for blog posts and podcast episodes featuring the mentees as they share their learnings.

Blog posts and guides

We shared a variety of blog posts and guides which give handy tips and information to support you in taking the next steps in coding. Find them all in the Twitter thread below or using the Next Steps in Coding tag on our website. You can also find other tweets about this and previous Research Software Camps using #RSCamps.

Future camps

We welcome anyone involved with research and research software from all career stages to attend our Research Software Camps. The next Research Software Camp is likely to take place in November 2022. If you have topics you’d like us to explore, send us your suggestions and we’ll consider them for future Camps.

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Want to discuss this post with us? Send us an email or contact us on Twitter @SoftwareSaved.  

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