Social Coding and open software

This course is intended to introduce beginners to the social side of programming and the importance of Open Software in Academia.


This course is intended to introduce beginners to the social side of programming and the importance of Open Software in Academia.

Open Source has a huge impact on software development and social coding is a software development practice that emphasizes formal and informal online collaboration. Historically, social coding started in private companies that pushed agile principles to be applied for project's source codes too. All project's source codes were made available for read-only access to anyone in the company, even those not directly working on the corresponding project. The idea was to trigger interest, get feedback and contributions from anyone in the company.

Companies very quickly understood the usefulness of this approach:

  • Faciliate knowledge exchange
  • Reuse code and solutions (rather than re-inventing the wheel)
  • Improve the quality of the code (Pull Requests are a structured review process)
  • Get additional resources and in the context of Open source, companies usually get a bunch of volunteers working for their software for free.
  • Get more recognition for your work

Social Coding and Open Software are not very well recognized in Academia and very often not emphasized. This workshop is intended to demonstrate the usefulness of this approach and also give an insight on how to contribute to Open Software.

There are three parts to the course:

  • Social coding with Github e.g learn to collaborate with Github
  • Software Licensing
  • Software citation

The workshop is a mixture of hands on and group discussions. No prior knowledge of the tools presented is necessary.

Learning outcomes

Participants will:

  • Be aware of the tools used for developing and collaborating on Open Software
  • Be able to use Github (create and upload files, make simple changes, etc.)
  • Understand the concept of social coding and its importance in Academia for improving transparency and efficiency
  • Understand the importance of licensing software and be able to choose an appropriate license for Open Software
  • Understand the importance of contributing to existing Open Software
  • Understand how to cite software and how to publish software with a Digital Object Identifier


None. All necessary setup for social coding will be done during the workshop.

Please bring a laptop.

Target audience

  • Someone writing their own relatively small material
  • Someone who wants to incorporate other code/libraries into their own projects
  • Group leader who wants to decide how to balance openness and long-term strategy

Go back to the full Research bazaar programme

Published Dec. 13, 2019 1:55 PM - Last modified Dec. 13, 2019 1:55 PM