Software Carpentry and Reproducible Research at Oxford

Last month I instructed at a Software Carpentry workshop with the Reproducible Research Oxford group as Phil Fowler, my co-instructor, a has recently blogged about.

He mentions Software Carpentry’s mission about reaching science students and comments:

I think researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences have just as much, if not more, to gain from learning some of the skills we teach

This is the reason why I joined the project, as well as working with the Software Sustainability Institute. I do believe this and see some excellent programmes dotted here and there to cope with this, and this Oxford project will help towards this. I think that the programmes are being widened as the fundamental issues affect all disciplines using computation and data (not just humanities from some of the horror I’ve come across).

We are running a masterclass at the Digital Humanities Oxford Summer School, and more details will be given shortly.


Reactions to Mark Zuckerberg’s letter

Mark Zuckerberg published a somewhat rambling letter / essay on Facebook, Building Global Community. In itself, it comes across as rambling, trying not to really engage at a deeper level. Surprising for me, Techcrunch called it out in Taylor Hatmaker’s piece, “What Zuck’s letter didn’t say“, pointing out the rhetoric and the reality of Facebook […]


Turing, Strachey and Computer Generated Music

Just came across this post from Open Culture on the first computer generated music. It appears that although Turing had worked out that his computer could be made to produce music but wasn’t interested in pursuing this. Christoper Strachey played with the concept and came up with some recognisable tunes. The Open Culture blog has […]


Smoke testing Dockerfiles and their images

As a result of the work on building Dockerfiles to build Docker images that can then be run with the same build, I considered testing the files as it as being developed. This provides confidence that the file and Docker are installing the desired packages and that these packages can be run. One of the […]


Ambient Literature on Voices inside Head

The Ambient Literature’s blog has an interesting post on it about hearing voices, “Ambient Literature, Voices Inside Your Head?“. I like, and need to ruminate on, the notion of Noise but the checklist is inviting.


Trying to find a work/life balance

Something that has been, quite literally, in my mind is the question of work/life balance. I am currently working on finishing a dissertation for a Masters in Software Engineering on Behaviour Driven Development in Sonification as well as working across three different projects at work. The dissertation is on the way to first draft completion, […]


Interlinked communities gaming the search and social

Carole Cadwalladr’s article, “Google, democracy and the truth about internet search“, published in today’s Observer New Review section is a thoughtful piece about the way that Right wing politics (under what ever banner they wear today) have used the Web to push their agenda. Her opening paragraph about typing “are jews..” returned the equally appalling […]


Visuals without speech

Last night I watched the Ballet Boyz‘s film, Young Men. It is a film without dialogue, apart from some screaming, set in the First World War. A mixture of dance and music, the film brought out a different set of emotions than spoken word. The music and the physical moves affect us in a different […]


Soft skills in developing Research Software Engineers?

I was at the Research Software Engineers’ conference recently and in the group discussing training. One of the themes that I advocated is training in soft skills such as communication. In part I meant this as the bridge between the developer(s) and business but on reflection, perhaps I mean something deeper as well. A while […]


New beginnings, new stories and finding ways of communicating

I am starting a new project with the Oxford University Museums to work on making art more accessible. My role is a technical one but I love visiting the museums concerned and it feeds out of an interest in audio and sound. One of the challenges at the moment is to create user stories for […]