Galaxy training material: A Contribution Fest beyond any expectations

Galaxy has become very popular in recent years, and one reason is that biologists can now take over their own bioinformatics analyses. The foundation for this are workshops and training courses with and for Galaxy. The Galaxy community did an awesome job over the last year to create high-quality training material for a variety of different topics of data analysis. However, a lot of redundancy is found in the training material and all this material is difficult to keep up to date.

At the Galaxy Community Conference 2016, the Galaxy Training Network decided to unify the Galaxy training material: one central repository for the training material related to Galaxy and bioinformatics. A GitHub repository with an initial set of content (contributed by the University of Freiburg) was chosen to initiate this project and build a prototype, before moving everything to the GitHub Galaxy organization.

Since August, we worked heavily on this project to create a prototype. Templates were created, documentation was added and we created a lot of github issues with ideas and discussions to make this project welcoming to everyone and to gather help and traction.

On the 6 and 7th of October, GTN had its first online Contribution Fest with an impressive amount of contributions and contributors! This was beyond any expectations!

25 persons joined the Contribution Fest - a few of them had never contributed to an open source project on GitHub. Institutions like ELIXIR, de.NBI and IFB had persons contributing to the this Contribution Fest.

During the two days, more than 44 commits went into the master branch. 24 pull request were opened and 15 of them were merged. 5 Issues were closed and 5 created. 16 previously opened issues were used to plan the further direction of this initiative.

Before the Fest, 9 topics were available with different materials (hands-on tutorials, slides, …). During the two days, 1 new topic and 2 new tutorials were proposed, 2 slide decks were created and 7 tutorials were updated to follow our guidelines.

More than 350 messages were exchanged over the Gitter channel during these few days. A few video calls were made to explain the goals and the guidelines. One main discussion point was the slide format which we defined - we will rethink this and propose a new one soon - this should go hand in hand with the new Galaxy wiki system.

This Contribution Fest was fantastic and we learned a lot during these days. We would like to warmly thank all the participants. Great community effort!

We hope that the prototype will be soon be ready. Thanks to the community following the initiative and helping make Galaxy training outstanding in Bioinformatics!

 

Bérénice and Bjoern

PS: Thanks again to all participants: