Software and research: the Institute's Blog

Review of piloting a new course: Intermediate research software development in Python

Latest version published on 15 September, 2022.

SSI Fellow Matthew Bluteau picks apart the course delivery, successes, and challenges of piloting the new Intermediate Research Software Development in Python Course.

Everything including the kitchen sink: securing the Internet of Things

Latest version published on 13 June, 2022.

When the world woke up one morning working from home, the extension of the traditional corporate network to encompass the domestic home (and its average of 9 connected devices) turned traditional perimeter-based computer security of 40 years on its head.

FOSS Backstage 2022 in Berlin

Latest version published on 8 June, 2022.

SSI Fellow Yadira Sanchez shares her thoughts on FOSS Backstage - a two day conference in March dedicated to everything related to Free and Open Source Software (OSS) governance and open collaboration.

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.