Debrief of SORTEE Code Club: Kickoff Meeting - Tuesday February 20

By Natalie van Dis | March 6, 2024


The Member Engagement Committee is breathing new life into the peer code review club: we will run Code Club every third Tuesday of the month. Time can vary depending on the host and will be announced at least two weeks in advance.

With 13 participants, we kicked off the first Code Club of 2024, learning how code review can make coding a more collaborative process in the scientific research cycle.

In this first session, previous code club organizers Ed Ivimey-Cook and Saras Windecker introduced the “what” and “how” of Code Review, with a journal club of their recent paper. We then discussed what you as a SORTEE member would like to get out of Code Club.


The 4 R’s of code review


The 4 R’s of code review

Making coding errors is normal and regular review could help correct many of these mistakes. We learnt about the 4 R’s of code review: checking if code is as Reported, if code Runs, if code is Reliable, and if the results the code produces are Reproducible.

Code review, ORT code, and developing resources

Previously, SORTEE’s Code Club meetings revolved around doing code reviews via this github page. Code Club can play an important role in promoting code review during development to normalize sharing code and making coding errors. Code Club can also provide code review immediately pre-publication through a code pre-check.

For 2024, there is interest in widening the scope of Code Club: alongside (1) code review sessions, Code Club will serve to (2) exemplify ways to make your code open, reliable and transparent (ORT); and (3) develop code review resources, such as a code review checklist.

Code Club will alternate between ‘Training Sessions’ and ‘Hacky Hours’. In Training Sessions we will focus on developing skills or hosting discussions. Hacky Hours are code-related casual get-togethers for code review and peer-to-peer sharing of code mistakes, problems, tips and tricks.

You can check the Code Club schedule for upcoming meetings.

What’s next?

The next Code Club meeting will be a Hacky Hour on Tuesday March 19 at 9-10h UTC +00:00 (zoom link will be posted on SORTEE’s Slack). The Hacky Hour will revolve around the 4 R’s: Reported, Run, Reliable, Reproducible.

Come share your code mistakes, problems, tips and tricks; and help build the SORTEE library of code mistakes! The goal is twofold: the normalization of coding errors and building a resource of (common) code mistakes that you can use during code review. There will also be the opportunity to put up your code for (informal) peer-review.

PS: Would you be interested in co-hosting the next Hacky Hour in another timezone (e.g. 17-18h UTC +00:00 for the Americas)? Please let us know in the SORTEE Slack channel <code_club>. All the material you will need will be provided before the meeting.