The Hacker Within, UCSD

Slides from the Roadshow:


This is a weekly/bi-weekly/monthly meeting (depending on topics) for sharing skills and best practices for scientific computation. In these friendly sessions, peers at all levels of experience share topics useful in our scientific software development workflows.

This meeting would be a great venue for introducing new libraries, showing off useful features of a scientific library or programming language you’re using, or bringing up a computational problem you’re having.


Anyone interested in software development best practices is welcome to come to our meetings.







Participating is easy.

  1. At 4:00pm, we gather and go through a round of introductions.
  2. Next, a volunteer will give a tutorial or lead a discussion about a computational topic. This topic can be anything useful, new, or interesting to scientists who compute. It may be some new skill you have recently picked up in your research, a productivity tool you have recently learned to love, an overview of a useful library, or anything you feel we would enjoy learning.
  3. Finally, there will be a time for a couple of Lightning Talks, which are 5-10 minute blasts of information about a particular topic or question of interest to the group. Note that the lightning talk time is a good way to bring a question to the group. If you have a bug you need help with, here’s the place to ask many ears about it at once.


The tenets of scientific endeavor (e.g., data control, reproducibility, comprehensive documentation, and peer review) suffer in projects that fail to make use of current development tools such as unit testing, version control, automated documentation, and others.

To avoid these pitfalls, this weekly meeting exists for sharing skills and best practices for computational scientific applications. This group is modeled after The Hacker Within, which began as a student organization at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is now reborn as a collection of such chapters around the world. Each of the chapters convenes a community of scientists, at all levels of their education and training, to share their knowledge and best practices in using computing to accomplish their work.