INBO coding club: share digital skills in a welcoming environment

View the Project on GitHub inbo/coding-club

INBO Coding club


Welcome to the INBO coding club, a peer-learning R-group. In January 2018, inspired by other examples, some enthousiastic researchers at the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) started a coding club at INBO.

It required a mission to be trustworthy:

The INBO Coding Club unites all ecologists, researchers and coders who want to develop their (R) programming skills in a pleasant and supportive environment in order to replace the fear for coding with inspiration and motivation to learn.

So, what does this mean?

The coding club is for everyone who wants to learn more about programming and data analysis in R with a specific focus on ecological and environmental topics. We aim for an environment where we experiment together, share code and learn from each other. Everyone has an equal say and can express themselves freely. We are convinced that everyone can learn from each other, irrespective of the experience.

Everyone who is eager to learn is invited, as we think learning together is more effective and just more fun. We focus on the skills which improve our data management and data analysis to do research more efficiently.

So, what to expect?

In the coding club, we will talk about:

In the coding club, we will NOT discuss:

All of this is not written in stone. We are open to new ideas and will adapt the coding club concept and content in function of the requirements of the participants.

Still, bear in mind that:

So, practically?

The coding club is held monthly on alternate Tuesday and Thursday, from 10 a.m. till 12 a.m., in Herman Terilinck building (Tour & Taxis, Brussels).

Depending on the availability and capacity of the lecture rooms, the coding club is typically limited to 25 participants. We stream our sessions via Google Meet as well. Each session focusses on a specific theme and is independent from any other session, so people can just attend when available or interested.

Bringing your own laptop is mandatory, as we will always work together on the code.

Who organises the coding club?

The current core team members are Hans Van Calster (@hansvancalster), Emma Cartuyvels (@EmmaCartuyvels1), Raïsa Carmen (@RCinbo), Dirk Maes (@dirkmaes33), Joost Vanoverbeke (@joost-vanoverbeke) and Damiano Oldoni (@damianooldoni). The core team is not there to make new course material, but focuses on the practical organisation.

More specifically, the core team takes care of:

Check the workflow page to see the step-by-step workflow to organize an INBO coding club.

Did we figure that out ourselves?

No :-). We got inspired by foreign initiatives such as the ourcodingclub Edinburgh. Moreover, more and more initiatives illustrate that coding together can be effective to improve ecological/environmental research. Interesting reading material in that sense is the Ocean Health Index project paper published in Nature Eccology & Evolution. The Software and Data Carpentry organisation proves that we all can overcome our fear to code. Their material is highly inspiring for setting up the challenges, e.g. the ecology workshop.