New Coding Club Starting Up in January!

Published: Posted on

[For sessions in May, June and July see here: ]

We are setting up a Coding Club from January for researchers and staff at the University of Birmingham to help them meet the goal of the Software Sustainability Institute of “Better Software, Better Research” i.e. if the software is incorrect then the resulting research will be too (

We aim to build a community of members of the University who would like to learn and share good software practices. We will meet for an hour each month, with two 30-minute topic slots to be delivered by staff and students from across the University, sharing their skills and knowledge related to coding. The talks may be introductory or more advanced and will include time for Q&A.

A similar initiative was run successfully at the University called The Hacker Within (THW) and there has been lots of demand from our researchers for a replacement.

Our vision is that attendees will share good practice in analysing, visualising, storing and publishing research data and software. This is anticipated to be a community-run Coding Club, with coordination and admin support from the Advanced Research Computing Team (, although we will be providing speakers for at least the first session to kick off the club.

There are so many topics that can be discussed, we’ve put a few ideas below:

  • How to get started with programming
  • Testing (similar to the talk from THW)
  • Reviewing code
  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Introduction to hybrid mobile app development
  • Architectural patterns
  • Design patterns
  • Pros and cons of various IDEs for programming
  • Web scraping
  • Databases, what should you be looking for?
  • FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable & Reproducible) principles for software
  • How can we do “open source” as a University including licensing
  • Introduction to Coding….

The current proposal for talks for the first three sessions are as follows:

DateTalk TitlePresenterLocation
24th Jan 2022 1-2pmWhy coding / what is the benefit of good software engineering?Andrew ‘Ed’ EdmondsonRecording in canvas course – see below
What should be in your toolbox?Simon Branford
15th Feb 2022 12-1pmPython Ecosystem including toolboxes   Andrew ‘Ed’ EdmondsonRecording in canvas course – see below
Case Study for PythonWarrick Ball
29th March 2022 1pm – 2pmThe R programming language: History, community, the tidyverse, and pedagogy + Q&ABodo WinterHybrid
Case Study for R + Q&AJason GrafmillerHybrid

The Zoom link for March’s Coding Club
Meeting ID: 821 9577 7319

To join the Coding Club Canvas course

Canvas – Coding club

Update – 28/04/2022

We have now run three sessions of the Coding Club – two of which have been held in a hybrid format. Recordings from our previous sessions can be found in our Canvas course. We now have plans for three more sessions in May, June and July – see our new blog post to find out details (

Get involved!

If you’d like to get involved in the Coding Club there are many opportunities to do so:

  • Volunteer to talk on one of the proposed topics above
  • Propose a talk topic and/or speaker
  • Be a session chair for the group to keep talks to time and stimulate discussion
  • Just come along 🙂 Anyone interested in coding is welcome, whether you are looking to start or are an established programmer – we hope to cater to both. There is no obligation to come to every meeting but we do hope to make the topics so enticing you will want to!

To find out more…

To stay up to date with the Coding Club…