Eating Your Own Dog Food: lessons learned from teaching researchers about best practices in research computing and data management

Koch, C. Eating Your Own Dog Food: Lessons Learned from Teaching Researchers about Best Practices in Research Computing and Data Management.

I’ve taught many workshops in computing skills and data management to academic researchers, all centered around best practices in these areas. What I didn’t realize right away was that the best practices taught in these workshops were just as useful to me — a non-researcher — as they were to my intended audience.

This session describes some of the best practices I recommend to researchers and how I have leveraged them in my role as an IT professional. This will include overarching ideas that are broadly applicable to many roles (the need for documentation, how to think about data and information organization, the importance of collaboration) and specific tips and tools (version control, data structures, documentation practices, automation, and more).

Anyone who is interested in reflecting on how they use computers and data to accomplish their work — whether that be as a systems administrator or a project manager — should be able to take something away from this session.