New Intermediate Research Software Skills Course Available from the Carpentries Incubator

Posted by j.laird on 3 November 2021 - 9:30am
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The new Carpentry-style training course in Intermediate Research Software Development skills has now been released into the Carpentries Incubator - an open repository for sharing community-developed lessons. The course is ready for wider reuse and feedback.

A team of experts from the Software Sustainability Institute, including Steve Crouch, James Graham and Aleksandra Nenadic, have been developing this course since April 2020. The course is aimed at learners who develop code in academic research settings but now require more intermediate software engineering skills as their projects are facing new challenges, such as:

  • software is becoming more complex and more team development effort is needed to keep the software running.
  • software is going further than just the group developing the code - there are more stakeholders and an increasing need to add new features and support collaborations with others.
  • increased demands to add new functionality while ensuring previous development efforts remain functional and maintainable.

The course covers topics such as:

  • using various tools and techniques for software development in a typical collaborative code development cycle.
  • setting up a test framework and writing tests to verify the correct behaviour of the code, and automating and scaling up testing with Continuous Integration (CI).
  • different software design paradigms to understand different ways of thinking about and structuring the code.
  • preparing and releasing software for reuse by others.
  • managing software improvements through feedback using agile techniques.

We would like to thank a number of collaborators for their contributions to lesson materials (Sam Mangham, Martin Robinson, Doug Lowe), attending pilot workshops and providing feedback on early drafts (Pip Grylls, Ania Brown, Simon Hettrick, Sam Mangham, Kamilla Kopec-Harding, Doug Lowe, Renato Alves) and helping us run the pilot workshops (Matthew Bluteau, Abhishek Dasgupta, Jan Linxweiler).

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