Tag software development

Research Code vs. Commercial Code

Featured Image for Research Code vs. Commercial Code

Since the beginning of my working life, I was torn between my researcher and software developer self. As a software development enthusiast, during my experience as a Ph.D. student, I suffered a lot looking at software implemented by researchers (many times my code is in the set too). Working with research code is usually an horrible experience. Researchers do so many trivial software development mistakes that I’d like to cry. The result is: a lot of duplicated work reimplementing already existent modules and a lot of time spent in integration, debugging and understanding each other code.

On the other hand, it is almost impossible that a researcher will learn the basics of software development in some book because 1) nobody cares (and they really should!) and 2) books on this topic are mostly focused on commercial software development. This is a problem because, even if best practices overlap for the 80%, research code and commercial code are driven by completely different priorities.

So, because I am just a lonely man in the middle of this valley, nor a good research code writer nor a good commercial code writer, I can share my neutral opinion. Maybe, I will convince you, fellow researcher, that may be worth to spend some time improving your coding practices.