In October 2018 CodeRefinery entered the second phase of the project, with funding from NeIC
until autumn 2021. A key objective for CodeRefinery 2.0 is to render the project largely self-sustained after
Documents relating to the management of the CodeRefinery project,
including project directive and project plan, are available on the
- After phase 2, travel and accommodation for workshops will be financed by the hosting
institution, similarly to the Carpentries model.
- The lesson material will be maintained by the community, volunteers, and in-kind staff time.
- Employers will be encouraged to allow instructors across Nordics to participate in-kind in 1-2 workshops/year.
- A completely self-financed organization may not be realistic, but we aim to arrive at
a project which can continue using 0.5-1 FTE/year for coordination.
Reaching this goal will depend on developing institutional recognition for the project.
But how do we get there?
Universities, e-Science initiatives and other organizations need to be convinced to
support or otherwise endorse CodeRefinery.
The pitch can be quite simple - continuity of the CodeRefinery project will lead to:
- More competent scientists and researchers
- Software development is a core part of research for many scientists and researchers
- CodeRefinery contributes to an increased competence in software development tools and techniques among scientists and researchers
- Preparation and delivery of workshops is also a great learning opportunity for the instructors
- Better science
- Reproducibility of research code
- Reusable and extensible code
- Collaborative learning and knowledge transfer
In theory, everyone is happy with training. In practice, once it is
no longer free, how will it continue?
- Minimum effort needed for a workshop:
- Coordination in months before workshop
- Three instructor travel and accommodation for three days
- Time to prepare, time to teach.
- Will institutions be able to budget for staff costs?
Example: Recurring workshops
Aalto University and soon KTH and Trondheim provide examples of recurring workshops:
- A well-defined and connected target audience
- Local workshops twice a year
- One or two local (non-CodeRefinery staff) instructors locally
- Zero or one remote CodeRefinery instructors travel (and one or two
CodeRefinery instructors already in the city).
- Workshops have been made “routine” - minimal advance discussion
- Routine workshops
- A host institution provides 1-2 local instructors
- Host institution pays for 1-2 remote instructors to travel, but no salary
- Host institution sends 1-2 instructors to some other remote
workshop at a different partner.
- Bootstraping new members
- Other sites kickstart a new institution by sending more
instructors and demonstrating a full workshop. Initial instructor
- Central coordination, new institutions can easily join.
- .5-1 FTE funded by NeIC or by partner fees?
- Training and meetings
- Yearly meeting and training funded somehow…
Option 2: peer to peer
A smaller way to start would be to take a core group of institutions
(e.g. Aalto and KTH) and they agree to send an instructor back and
forth twice a year for networking and teaching a workshop. Possibly
as part of NordicHPC and other collaboration? This would require less
central coordination, and eventually merge into option 1.
Building a community will be another essential requirement to reach sustainability.
Several avenues should be pursued:
- Train-the-trainer program
- Promote, train, and certify future trainers at annual train-the-trainer workshops
- Symbiosis with The Carpentries and PRACE advanced training centers
- CodeRefinery can be positioned as the second step after attending a Carpentry workshop
- Coordinating with PRACE advanced training centers, embed CodeRefinery workshops within PRACE?
- Symbiosis with local units
- Partner with universities to bring workshops to their community as a default service
- Aalto Science IT to serve as perfect model
- Research software engineer (RSE) community in the Nordics
- CodeRefinery can serve as a hub
- Bi-annual or annual conferences, inspired by UK-RSE
What can you do?
- First and foremost: teach workshops!
- Spread the word. Tell friends and colleagues about upcoming workshops
and encourage them to become instructors.
- Contribute new material or ideas for new material and/or suggestions for existing material.
- Talk to your higher-ups. Is your employer willing to contribute in-kind?
- What do you think will be needed to reach sustainability?
- How do you think the lesson material should be maintained after
project funding ends?
- What type of partnerships do you think are possible?