Contributing to UofT Coders

Welcome to the Contributing guideline for UofT Coders. Thanks for taking the time to contribute!

The following is a set of guidelines for contributing to the UofT Coders community, whether it be by teaching a lesson, fixing the website, helping to plan and organize our various events, or taking on a leadership role.

Table of Contents

  1. About UofT Coders
  2. How You Can Contribute

About UofT Coders

UofT Coders was formed to share and learn about coding techniques and best practices for computing and analysis in research. We hold weekly sessions in the format of code-alongs, coworking sessions or journal clubs/discussions. To see our previous and upcoming events, you can visit our Events repo or website. To learn more about our group, you can read our constitution.

Code of Conduct

We adhere to a Code of Conduct and by participating, you agree to also uphold this code. Please report any unacceptable behaviour to If you feel that a member of the executive team has been violating the Code of Conduct, please email to report.

How You Can Contribute

Leading a Lesson

The Mozilla Study Group handbook here and here has several very good points about making a lesson. This section summarizes bits of the handbook, but also adds pieces that are missing from it. Check out the lesson bank too.

Creating the Content

More on Live-Coding

Live-coding is a hands-on method of teaching coding to a group in which the instructor shares their screen with the group and types all commands on their computer while the group follows along. Live-coding is a very effective teaching technique: it forces the instructor to go slowly and ensures that participants get to try out every command being used. It allows learners to experience common errors themselves and debug them in a supportive environment, to explore variations on material as they go, and to immediately check their understanding by trying things hands-on.

Live-coding is a technique used by Software Carpentry. Software Carpentry has lots of great resources explaining the why and how of live-coding:

To see live-coding in action in the UofT Coders group, watch a portion of the Intro to R livestream taught by Ahmed, or look over the code that was covered in an R lesson created by Luke.

Teaching in Class

Fixing and updating the website

There are two ways of fixing or adding to the website, either by:

If you want to view the website before submitting a Pull Request to make sure your changes are as you expect, you’ll need to:

Other Ways to Get Involved

Helping Out at Our Events

We hold various sessions that incorporate code-alongs, and having the help of more advanced users to help out the beginners is very much appreciated.

Taking On A Leadership Role

The planning and organization of our the group and our various events are done by our executive council. We hold elections every April to elect the executive council members, however, we are always open to suggestions on new roles and positions for interested members of the UofT Coders community who wish to take on more a leadership role. To read more about these positions, please see our Council Roles document.