RCC hosted Brisbane’s first entry in the annual Mozilla Science Lab Global Sprint for two days in early June.
The RCC/QCIF’s Belinda Weaver organised the Brisbane sprint as part of RCC outreach.
The sprint is a hackathon to build projects that benefit open science. The first, in 2014, involved more than 100 people in 22 cities worldwide. This year, 30 cities took part. Sites keep in touch globally via a continuous video conference.
Belinda and her team worked on ‘Library Carpentry’ – a version of Software Carpentry aimed specifically at Australian librarians, and based on work being done by James Baker of the British Library. She was joined by Helen Morgan from the UQ Library and Thea Koutsoukis, who teaches coding to primary school children, During the sprint, they:
- hosted Google hangouts to consult librarians about course content
- analysed survey responses to Belinda’s Library Carpentry: Building Blocks survey
- developed a course outline based on librarians’ feedback
- investigated OpenRefine as a data clean-up tool
- tested a container environment for training that lets users run the Unix shell and Python within a Web browser (useful for librarians who lack access to command line tools).
Also involved were Dr Nick Hamilton from the IMB/RCC who worked on coding (and took photos), and Mitch Stanton-Cook and Tom Robinson from Scott Beatson’s Lab in UQ’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences. Mitch and Tom worked on a bioinformatics project and gave helpful advice to the Library Carpentry team.
The highlight of the RCC-hosted ‘sprint’ was the pistachio and pomegranate cake that Belinda made. Its picture was retweeted and favourited many times on Twitter, and earned Brisbane a ‘BEST.SITE.EVER’ tweet from @MozillaScienceLab.