Data science projects are becoming increasingly complex, and new tools are needed to manage contributions from different individuals and teams. At waterhackweek we would like to introduce you to project management tools built in to GitHub. We invite you to use these tools during our event for your projects, and hopefully continue to contribute to this collaborative work after the event is over. Projects will be a collaborative effort to collectively advance a complex research question, while meeting individual learning goals. The Project Lead designs the research question and prepares preliminary dataset and existing code. The Data Science Lead support the Project Lead and a team of 2-5 other participants to develop a new innovation, insight or research product using open source code. The teams are invited to work together using any methods, platforms, libraries or data they choose. At the end of the week, each team is requested to add their work as a repository at https://github.com/waterhackweek. A table of projects is available in the projects repository, which links to individual project repositories (updated annually; see geohackweek/projects for an example).
Project and Data Science Leads
The Project Lead is responsible for overall project management and supporting the learning objectives of the team. We will be working with 4-5 project leads each year to prepare a project in the months preceeding the hackweek - please review this Github page https://github.com/waterhackweek/projects/blob/master/README.md for the project description, examples, and guidelines for developing a Waterhackweek project repository.
The data science Lead is from the pool of instructors who has expertise in the data tools and methods matched with a team based on common interests.
The Project and Data Science leads are expected to participate every afternoon as a contributing team member.
Purpose of the projects:
During Waterhackweek we will be facilitating open hacking sessions most of the afternoons. The purpose of these sessions is for you to gain hands-on experience in working together on a well-defined problem related to water sciences.
What is hacking?
Hacking is a session of focused, highly collaborative computer programming, in which we create conditions for rapid absorption of new ideas and methods. The word “hack” or “hackathon” has many different interpretations, both positive and negative. Here our intention is to foster the idea of hacking as a fun, interactive and welcoming environment to explore and experiment with computer code.
Why is this important?
Increasingly, research and software development is being conducted across groups of people with diverse skills and backgrounds. We believe this collaborative work leads to more innovative solutions to complex problems. At waterhackweek, our goal is to explore with you some of the skills needed to navigate technical and social challenges of working in these kinds of collaborative settings.
How will the projects be conducted?
- on day 1 we will facilitate the sharing of ideas and formation of people into small teams (2-5 people)
- each team will identify:
- a project lead, likely the person who pitched the idea, who has knowledge of the datasets and the specific problem to be explored
- a data science lead from the pool of waterhack instructors who has expertise in the data tools and methods
- once formed, each team will be guided through exercises to help narrow in on a set of tasks that are doable within the 5 days. A brief project outline will be posted to GitHub, following the “Project Guidelines” below.
- Each morning will start with a daily stand-up meeting to check-in on progress and challenges
- On day 3 we will have a mid-week project check-in
- On day 5 each team will present their work in a series of lightning talks.
What can I do to prepare in advance?
- if you have a project idea already brewing, we encourage you to share that with the team on our general Slack channel.
- feel free to explore various projects and initiate conversations. The goal is to gather as much information as you can to inform your decision about which team to join when we meet in person.
- contact a waterhack organizer if you would like assistance in assessing whether a project is well-scoped, or if you need help with a particular dataset.
Each project requires a brief project summary in the readme.md of each GitHub project folder. Below is a template for the project summary. You can visit the project folder on the waterhack GitHub page to see existing examples.
Brief title describing the proposed work.
Collaborators on this project
List all participants on the project. Choose one team member to act as project lead, and identify one waterhack organizer as the data science lead.
What water problem are you going to explore? Provide a few sentences. If this is a technical exploration of software or data science methods, explain why this work is important in a broader context.
List one specific application of this work.
If you already have some data to explore, briefly describe it here (size, format, how to access).
List the specific tasks you want to accomplish or research questions you want to answer.
How would you or others traditionally try to address this problem?
Building from what you learn at waterhackweek, what new approaches would you like to try to implement?
Optional: links to manuscripts or technical documents for more in-depth analysis.