BitBucketing MSc students

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 18 Apr 2013 | 16:11

Based on previous experience of supervising MSc students and inspired by the Software Carpentry boot camp sessions I attended as a helper in Edinburgh and Newcastle, I thought I would insist that the MSc students that I am supervising this year should use a third party private source code repository for their code, meeting minutes, project report and project presentation and anything else that might be of relevance. That should allow sufficient monitoring throughout the project to avoid any last minute emergencies - hopefully a key to success or at least that is what I am hoping for.

I quite liked Bit Bucket as that allowed you to create (and tear down) private repositories and I chose git over mercurial as I thought I would like to try to learn to use git in anger and there is nothing quite like being involved in a project to do this.

The students are currently in the process of completing their "Project Preparation" phase where they try to scope out the project that they will do over the summer and I have bullied them into using Bit Bucket. 

My hope is that by embarking on the use of source code repositories I will be able to learn a bit of git and teach the students some best practice (which they are actually taught in their software engineering course, though there is a great difference between book learning and actually using a piece of technology). I can also monitor what they are doing - they might accuse me of micro managing or, God forbid, spying on them! The one thing that I hope to avoid though this year though is them having any problems with their code submission. We shall see how this works out. I hope to report on the actual outcome of this project at the end of this MSc session.

If any of the students I am involved in supervising read this post then feel free to give your own perspective, either through a comment or by writing your own blog article about how you found this imposition.