The Turing Way Book Dashes#

The Turing Way Book Dash events are a less intense version of Book Sprints, where participants collaboratively work on The Turing Way book synchronously to develop new chapters and review/edit existing ones to make them more accessible, comprehensive and up-to-date. They also contribute to enhancing the project by improving the ways we work in the community and take the lead on accomplishing different tasks or subprojects.

Cartoon-like sketch of a big yellow tree in the centre of image. A diverse group of people, all pictured within a yellow, green and orange colour scheme, including a person using a wheelchair and people from different backgrounds are watering and maintaining the tree with the help of 2 ladders. The title reads 'The Turing Way book dash.

Fig. 170 The Turing Way project illustration by Scriberia. Used under a CC-BY 4.0 licence. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3332807.#

In the past, we have organised 1-2 day long Book Dash events in person or in a hybrid format, where one of the participants coordinated with their team remotely. However, to ensure that international participants have an equal chance to join and address the challenges of hosting in-person events during the COVID-19 pandemic, we started hosting Book Dashes virtually. These virtual Book Dashes are five days long, designed for flexible participation by members in different time zones. Meaning, rather than committing their entire working day, participants can choose one or multiple 2.5 hour short collaborative co-working calls, called “contribution sessions” each day based on their availability. In the future, we will co-design hybrid events with an “online-first” approach for the Book Dash attendees who will have the opportunity to organise small local meet-ups for collaboration and social events.

A person helping out another person making their first pull request on GitHub

Fig. 171 Making your first pull request on GitHub. The Turing Way project illustration by Scriberia. Used under a CC-BY 4.0 licence. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3332807.#

Inviting diverse contributions#

Our Book Dash attendees are:

  • First time Book Dash attendees who have previously interacted with the project or community who send in their application describing where/how in the project and community they would like to contribute. See the eligibility section for details.

  • Previous Book Dash attendees to express their interest to participate again as contributors, members of planning committees and/or mentors. Book Dash mentors facilitating other attendees’ contributions in one or multiple of the contribution sessions based on their interest and availability.

As a community-driven guidebook, The Turing Way aims to co-create content that is comprehensible and beneficial for the wider community of researchers, data scientists and individuals working in research infrastructure roles. Hence, The Turing Way specifically welcomes contributors from diverse fields, identities, and backgrounds who can propose ideas and work on new aspects of an existing chapter or create new chapters in its guides.

All the contributions are managed through GitHub. Since many participants of the Book Dash are relatively new community members, and often new users of GitHub, the team members make sure that they take time to introduce the project and teach collaboration through GitHub before the Book Dash.

The skills and contributions that we invite at the Book Dash include, but are not limited to:

  • Science communication and technical writing skills.

  • Examples and case studies of reproducible research.

  • Editing and reviewing of existing content.

  • Technical tools and methods in data science.

  • Interest in creating content on community building and collaboration.

  • Developing learning resources and reusable content on ethics and AI.

  • Artistic skills for illustrations, sketch notes, and infographics.

  • Enhancing online aspects of the book (for example, CSS, layout, interactivity, continuous integration).

  • Improving accessibility of the content and sharing accessibility principles in data science.

  • Data visualisation skills and best practices.

  • Storytelling skills that can help make our content more engaging.

Eligibility: who should apply to join the Book Dash?#

We want to support participants in getting the most out of these Book Dash events. Therefore, we encourage applications from members of our community, including both new and existing contributors. More specifically, we want applicants to know about The Turing Way, how we work collaboratively and have a good idea of how they can contribute to our resources.

This does not mean that you must have contributed to the project before - it is more about having used the project and/or interacted with our community in some way, such as during a community event or via our GitHub repository. Some familiarity with the project and how we work in the community will help our participants collaborate during the Book Dash more easily, even if this is with the support of more experienced community members. If you have previously contributed to a collaborative project or have a specific proposal for contribution in mind, you are highly encouraged to apply. Do get in touch with one of the core contributors who can help you shape your idea by identifying where and how they fit in the bigger vision of the project.

If you have not interacted with our community before, but want to take part in a Book Dash, please join one of our community events such as Co-working calls call or Collaboration Cafés. This way, you will get to know about our project and understand more about how you could contribute during a Book Dash.

Support in-person, hybrid and remote participation#

Previous Book Dashes have been organised for in-person participation in venues located in the UK (the home country of the project), as hybrid events, or entirely online.

For participants attending a Book Dash in person:

  • All the participants who need to travel to the event’s venue are offered financial support to cover their travel, accommodation, and related expenses such as childcare or special accessibility requirements.

  • In the past, due to the funding model of The Turing Way, we had to limit our selection to contributors within European countries.

For participants attending a Book Dash remotely:

  • We have experimented with hybrid (partial remote) participation where one of the participants coordinated with their team remotely. Based on the success of this hybrid format and further demand for more remote participation, we have had two virtual events that did not involve travel. In the future, we aim to experiment with a multi-hub format allowing multiple small groups across the globe to meet in person as they work synchronously with other international contributors remotely.

  • Financial support is made available to support the remote accessibility requirements of the participants at hybrid and fully remote Book Dashes. It includes (but is not limited to) temporary access to high-speed internet, childcare grants and live transcription during the event. These bursaries are also available for the rent or purchase of small hardware items such as headphones or webcams to enhance participants’ overall experience.

  • There is also financial support for subsistence costs such as buying meals or treats for the online social events during the Book Dash.

More Resources on Book Dash#

In this chapter, we discuss the application, event preparation and participant selection and event preparation processes.

All the templates related to book Dashes are provided in the community template collection.