Software and research: the Institute's Blog

Highlights of the Research Software Camp: Next Steps in Coding

Latest version published on 6 June, 2022.

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.

Software helps facilitate digital soil mapping

Latest version published on 2 June, 2022.

Manaaki Whenua researcher Pierre Roudier is enjoying being both author and contributor on different software packages that are providing ways to accelerate soil research. 

Top tips for translating open education resources

Latest version published on 15 September, 2022.

Many educational resources have benefitted from contributions by volunteers to them over the years. One brilliant example of that is The Carpentries Curricula. However, in The Carpentries case, all that great material was created in English and as the community grew, many of us felt that such a wonderful learning material could help many of our peers that were not confident in English. But, how do you start translating a learning resource? 

Code Review: an opportunity to upskill

Latest version published on 24 May, 2022.

Code review is a software development practice that pre-dates the GitHub era of collaboration (after 2008) when Bugzilla was king and review was a sequence of plain text messages between developers instead of the discussion threads anchored in lines of the diff that GitHub and GitLab provide today. Code review contributes to improving the robustness of the application and is an opportunity to teach collaborators how to improve the quality of source code.

Automating unit testing with Continuous Integration

Latest version published on 23 May, 2022.

This guide is the first in the Unit Testing for Scale and Profit series. In a project where changes are frequently made to research software, it is helpful to know that the code still works as expected. In our last two episodes, we looked at the benefits of having a set of unit tests and how we can use test parameterisation to write numerous tests efficiently. However, particularly with projects involving more than one contributor, it would be good to have assurance the software still works without everyone having to pull down all the changes and test them. In this guide, we'll be looking at…

Top tips for better code reviews

Latest version published on 9 June, 2022.

Code review is known to be an effective way to improve software quality, foster peer learning and develop common ownership of a research software project. In practice, a code review is nothing else than a conversation between the author of the code and somebody else providing feedback on coding practices, readability or other aspects of code quality. If this sounds straightforward, an effective code review routine can be tricky to establish. Here are five tips for you to get started with code reviews, or get more of them.

Five top tips for short-term mentoring

Latest version published on 19 May, 2022.

In this guide, Heather Turner shares her top tips for how mentors can set up a successful short-term mentoring relationship.

Learning to Code from a mentor's perspective

Latest version published on 18 May, 2022.

By Mario Antonioletti, Learning to Code Mentorship Programme mentor I volunteered as a mentor as part of the SSI’s Beyond the Spreadsheet Research Software Camps. I was motivated by the fact that I wanted to set up a similar time-limited mentoring scheme for the Community of Edinburgh RSEs where synergies in domain expertise could be coupled with programming skills, or as part of the Edinburgh Carpentries where people would go back to their day jobs after a Carpentries course to try and apply what they have learned to their own projects/data where they may need a little help to get started…

Metadocencia: Nurturing educators in Spanish-speaking research communities

Latest version published on 17 May, 2022.

Last Year Paola Corrales and Yanina Bellini Saibene members from the MetaDocencia community offered the workshop From Spreadsheet to R at the Research Software Camp: Beyond the Spreadsheet. Later today (17 May 2022, they're teaching the same workshop but in Spanish (Desde las Hojas de Cálculo a R) at the Research Software Camp: Next Steps in Coding, for the benefit of Spanish-speaking research communities. In this blog post, they tell us more about MetaDocencia.

Free training resources to upskill on research software topics

Latest version published on 7 September, 2022.

Aleksandra Nenadic, SSI Training Lead, shares resources available to researchers and Research Software Engineers to upskill on various topics around software development, research data management/analysis, software project management, open and reproducible science, teaching and lesson development skills, and more.