The Turing Way and a return to GitHub

At the end of last week I headed off to Manchester to take part in a book dash writing the Turing Way Handbook of reproducible data science.

I was a little nervous and could feel the imposter syndrome creeping in, but I was also excited. It was a great group of people – researchers, software engineers and librarians. Having been both a librarian and a researcher in a computational discipline, I should have felt fairly confident,  but there was a shadow looming over the event.

That shadow was GitHub.

For those who haven’t come across it  before, GitHub is a platform to enable collaborative working – mostly used for software projects. The book we were writing was using the platform to allow a room full of people to all work on the project at the same time.

The problem for me was that it was a good few years since I’d last used GitHub, and I wasn’t sure what I was doing then, so I definitely wasn’t confident now.

However, It turned out that the Turing Way was a great way of re-learning – I wasn’t the only novice there, and there were a lot of really approachable people involved in the project. By the end of the day I was making commits and pull requests (Git terminology) like a pro – or at least not like a total noob.

This was great for me, but has left me wondering how to help others get over the starting hurdle when it comes to Git and Github – sitting around a table with helpful people works…but it’s not very scaleable!

I’m hoping that this time I’ll be able to keep my skills up, and continuing to work on the Turing Way project seems a great way to do that. Many thanks to all those involved who made the day so profitable for all attending.

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