Impact of online CodeRefinery workshops

Over 1100 people have attended a CodeRefinery workshop since the project started! Since the pandemic started, we shifted the gear towards online workshops. In total 407 participated in online CodeRefinery workshops.

Along the change in tools and practices, we changed questions in pre-/post-workshop surveys. To provide the most consistent and recent picture of our participants and impact, the below is based on data provided by pre-/post-workshop surveys answered in relevance to only online workshops. (Note: pre-/post-workshops are opt-in.)

Summary of impact of in-person workshops until early 2019 is archived.

Participants' background

Results of pre-workshop surveys (answers given by 301 persons) show that our workshop participants range from undergraduate students to full professors, and come from a variety of academic disciplines.

The chart below shows the result of a question asking about their job title, position or occupation.

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The chart below shows the result of a question asking about their academic discipline.
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What is our impact?

The long-term impact of CodeRefinery workshops is measured through a post-workshop survey which is sent out to all former participants 3 months to 1 year after attending a workshop. To date (12th Sep 2021) we received 80 voluntary responses to a post-workshop survey by participants of an online workshop.

The heatmap below shows how former participants use various software development tools after attending a workshop, and how their code and collaboration with colleagues has changed.

Please note that a part of responses answered the specific tool to different types of impact, for example, there are cases where both "started using" and "using better" was chosen for "Version control".

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The chart below shows fraction of former participants who feel their code and collaboration with colleagues has been improved. alt text

What else has changed do our participants say after attending a workshop?

Below are examples of free-text answers given to this question to showcase variety of answers. Generally we see many gained confidence in using tools like Git.

"Constantly making sure my code is as accessible as possible to ensure future me and others can understand and use it, i.e. writing explanatory comments everywhere no matter how simple the code may be."

"Increased confidence. Sense of community (extremely valuable during the pandemic times). The value of volunteering."

"I'm significantly more confident in navigating and creating versions and branches in git and on GitHub."

"It was a great experience, it just did sum up all the necessary tools and step to build more sustainable code. That saved me A LOT of time trying to figuring out everything by myself!! :)"

"I am an experienced developer and instructor and attended the workshop mainly to help out. It did not change much for me in terms of the course content. However, the course was am absolutely great experience for me in terms of seeing how to conduct a massive online course with live participation. The HackMD "backchannel" and breakout rooms with helpers are features I now incorporate in teaching at my own university."

"Think much more before starting a coding project and overall better structure: coding with a structure in mind (making modules, simplifying), using a structured approach to coding (knowing which tools, which steps, doing reviews, etc.), etc."

"I have a much broader understanding of these tools and why they are important. I regularly use the tutorials and movies to help teach new incoming students in between CodeRefinery workshops."

"The project team has a common understanding of why and how to track code versions and collaborate on processing scripts"

"More focus on that results and papers should be reproducible, ideally even for referees."