This lesson is in the early stages of development (Alpha version)

Good Enough Practices in Scientific Computing

This lesson is targeted at a broad audience of researchers who want to learn how to be more efficient and effective in their data analysis and computing, whatever their career stage. Examples of our target audience are found in learner profiles.

The lesson is inspired by and based on the paper, Good Enough Practices in Scientific Computing (Wilson et al., 2017): “a set of good computing practices that every researcher can adopt, regardless of their current level of computational skill”.

These practices, which encompass data management, programming, collaborating with colleagues, organizing projects, tracking work, and writing manuscripts, are drawn from a wide variety of published sources, from the daily lives of contributors, and from work with volunteer organizations that have delivered workshops to thousands of researchers since 2010.


There are no specific prerequisites.


Setup Download files required for the lesson
00:00 1. Introduction How can we use computers more effectively in a scientific project?
00:10 2. Data Management What is data management?
How should I back up my data?
What data should I back up?
How should I name my data?
How do I share my data?
How do I uniquely and persistently identify my data?
00:40 3. Software How to understand someone else’s code? (Including your future self!)
What can you do to make debugging code easier?
What are the characteristics of readable code?
01:20 4. Collaboration What do collaborators need to know to contribute to my project?
How can documentation make my project more efficient?
What is a license and does my project need one?
02:00 5. Project Organization How should I name my files?
How does folder organization help me
02:00 6. Keeping Track of Changes How do I make changes to a project without losing or breaking things?
Why does github exist?
02:40 7. Manuscripts How do I write a collaborative paper?
03:00 8. What to do next How can you improve practices after this workshop?
03:10 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.