Software Sustainability Institute's Collaboration's Workshop: another success!

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 15 Apr 2019 | 10:41

Attendees at CW19. This year's Software Sustainability Institute's Collaboration's Workshop, CW19, was held from 1–3 April at the University of Loughborough. There were almost 70 attendees from all over the UK and further afield too - Germany, the Netherlands and the US. I am of the opinion that this is one of the best types networking workshops I have been to, possibly equalled by the UK RSE conferences.

The first two days have a number of ad hoc collaborative groups where one has to come up with new ideas or blog articles, which is a really good way to quickly get to know your fellow attendees well. There were also a number of lightning talks given by attendees on their interests or available opportunities – I talked about HPC-Europa, a programme that funds researchers to travel to Europe to use HPC systems or allow their collaborators to come to the UK. There were a number of other tutorials and demos. I met some of the organisers/authors of the Turing Way, a handbook for reproducible research that is being organised by the Alan Turing Institute. It is being developed in GitHub and additional contributors are invited to become involved. 

Coming up with collaborative ideas.

Keynote speakers

There were also a number of keynote speakers, including Catherine Stihler (until recently a member of the European Parliament but now with the Open Knowledge International organisation) who spoke to us about frictionless data and how the containerisation of data can be used to minimise problems when transporting data from producers to consumers. Also how Article 13 of the new EU Copyright Directive, something originally intended to protect music content producers, may have unintended consequences on the impact on openess – this provoked quite a bit of a discussion. Franziska Heine from Wikimedia Deutshland spoke to us about the cool things they are doing and also the potential power of wikidata. There were also several panels on the themes of this year's Collaboration Workshop: interoperability, documentation and training. The first two days were thus pretty busy!

Hack day – and prizes!

The third day was an optional hack day to further develop ideas, with some cool prizes available for the top hacks performed on the day. I was involved with the adjudication panel to select the winners and it is always interesting to see how things work from a different perspective. The first prize winners are pictured below (only those who remain to the end get a prize). 

Winners of the hackathon

The event was well worth attending, even though I got mild food poisoning on the last day! I am already looking forward to CW20 next year. 


Mario Antonioletti, EPCC

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