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Steering group meeting 2016-06-14, Oslo


  • We start at 9:30 (breakfast from 9:00) and we close at 15:30.
  • Breakfast served in the restaurant at the entrance



  • Lene Krøl Andersen (DeIC)
  • Rossen Apostolov (SNIC)
  • Michaela Barth (NeIC, Chair)
  • Radovan Bast (NeIC/UiT, PM)
  • Gerd Behrmann (NeIC, Technical Advisor)
  • Gudmund Høst (NeIC, Director)
  • Hans A Eide (USIT, UiO)
  • Martti Louhivuori (CSC)

Tentative agenda

  • Hiring situation
  • Discussion and decisions about the project plan
  • Gantt chart
  • Budget
  • Overlap and interactions with NeIC Pooling Competencies Focus Area
  • Reference group
  • Extra training budget


These meeting minutes have been approved by all steering group members present at the meeting.

Role of the Steering Group (SG)

  • SG is important: makes strategic decisions in this area. If there is a follow-up project to CodeRefinery, the SG is likely to be involved and influential also in the future (e.g. Nordic Cloud planning group consists of Glenna SG members).
  • Might be possible to fund Tieto PPS course for SG members in case of interest, courses across the Nordic countries. PPS used as management tool.

Future and funding

  • If there is a need for smaller-sized additional funding, this can be handled by Michaela and approved by Gudmund.

Project start

  • NeIC 2017 conference in Umeå: this project needs to put a footprint in the programme and be visible.


SGAS maintenance scope draft:

Description of the service

SGAS is an accounting system for computing systems which is available under an open-source license and currently used to record resource usage for the Nordic participation in the WLCG collaboration (the distributed Nordic Tier-1 and the national Tier-2s) and in some national infrastructures in the Nordics.

The Scope of the service

The parties agree to the following:

  • Maintenance of SGAS (including bug report follow-ups, release management,

advanced technical support in general and towards related development projects in particular, representation in standardisation activities).

  • Acting as a use case within the CodeRefinery

project (including participation in surveys, giving feedback to suggested tools, being active in common discussion fora and possibly acting as role model for other software projects).


The responsibility of the CodeRefinery project with regards to SGAS concerns the migration of the SGAS code-base to the CodeRefinery infrastructure and successful application of the CodeRefinery services and tools to further the development and maintenance of the SGAS software. The CodeRefinery project assumes no responsibility for operating SGAS services and infrastructure.

  • CodeRefinery can give stimulating context
  • Pilot showcase
  • Not a research code but for historical reasons maintained within NeIC
  • Helping the developer/maintainer with skills and modern tools
  • Create developer community to increase development team size
  • Ambitious involvement in SGAS is outside the scope of CodeRefinery
  • SGAS currently only accounts for CPU/HPC, extending for cloud storage additional development would be needed
  • There are not many solutions and room for improvement but possibly outside of scope of this project


  • If persons are available and OK for PM, then contracts can be set up
  • Other projects ideally allow for synergies
  • Team members ideally complementary expertise
  • Usually NeIC contracts contain names


  • N. D., Aleksi Kallio, and Pinja Koskinen
  • Mostly interested in best practices and integration
  • Pinja (already very active within CSC in this context) and N. D. together working and sharing 0.5 FTE; Aleksi will be supporting


  • Contracts should be coordinated with SNIC. In practice this could still be contracted directly.


  • Difficult to find one person
  • CodeRefinery could kick-start courses within Danish e-science centers
  • Model suggested: e-science centers provide persons sharing the DeIC 0.5 FTE; easier to sell smaller fractions/resources
  • Used to create a Danish community


  • Request sent out to Metacenter sites
  • Sigma2 itself does not have resources to participate
  • Similar situation at the sites
  • Project members should be part of the Metacenter
  • There is a software carpentry community arount UoT

Note to PoCo working group

  • For sharing of resources (cycles) it could be useful to get overview of which software is used where (e.g. appusage tool)

Comments to project plan draft

  • Problem with a team comprising many people is to match them to the deliverables and the Gantt chart
  • Project plan does not contain FTE fractions or person-months
  • Project leader needs to match the plan to people
  • Object 1: possible duplication of content on NeIC website and we need to clarify what information should go where, NeIC website generally for more static content
  • Blogs: need to specify who writes them and requires discipline in busy times to update frequently. If not updated frequently: project might look dead.
  • Open call for use cases + review
  • Blogs instead of reports vs newsletter: glossy content/success stories could also be posted as news item on NeIC webpage
  • Project definition does not induce that project should provide additional optional hosting support: provision of infrastructure is only secondary, goal and success of project defined by researchers writing better software
  • Training: whenever information is already available, we link and do not duplicate
  • We need to make sure that PoCo focus is well integrated
  • Possible problem: free sign up for everyone? Need to formalize sign up procedure.
  • Let us worry about success when we see it
  • Object 2 becomes part of training events feedback loop: survey after courses
  • We need concrete numbers for training dates
  • Requirement specs for WO 8 in separate document
  • For item 8 investigate alternatives, it is nice to have but not critical to this project
  • Add delivery object "overhead package": management or add numbers to the title
  • Make coordination visible in the project plan
  • Use "delivery objects" consistently
  • Object 8 is revised after first year and moved to second year, scaled down
  • Add organizing time to training package
  • Sign-up solution: lightweight and national solutions
  • Native speaker checking best-practices guides
  • Idea: Create challenges to engage people
  • Split travel costs: training, train the trainer events, promotion
  • Add possible conference registration fees to the budget
  • CI object needs numbers
  • Cost estimate: 2-3 days for 1 person approx 1000 EUR
  • Coffee/snacks provided by host university

PM distribution draft

  • WP2 as part of training events
  • WP3: 2 weeks for one person to get initial version up?
  • WP4: needs people ready to travel, do teaching, 20 events

total budget PMs 48 PMs

  • add additional WP0: radovan himself?
  • Prioritization: WP8 heavier than expected: if somewhere to cut, then here; hook to do something together with other projects, e.g. use B2Shareor another existent storage part to host the service, could make WP8 optional, put to second year
1       0.25    3
3       1       3
4       3       5
5       11      
6       0.5-1   3-4
7       1-6     6
8       3       6
9/10    1       


  • Consider to talk about tools how to write code (editors, tools, IDEs); perhaps in references
  • Leave this to trainers and for the refined delivery plan
  • Who is training the trainers?
  • Allocate time for discussions/workshops where we go together over training material: slide-hackathon
  • Minimum target: 6 courses/year; 2-3 teachers per course, ideally 2, max 3 days
  • Consulting events helping groups (e.g. dedicated use cases) to migrate code hands-on; little effort, possibly big impact; possibly as follow-up after trainings/projects

Survey of current practices and needs

  • Learn from BioExcel (Rossen will send material to Radovan)
  • Be pragmatic, do not strive for comprehensive study
  • Shape of code decides who gets the training, not the discipline
  • Post-project review survey to get feedback
  • Introduce self-assessment of meetings

Kick-off meeting

  • Satellite presentation at NORDUnet in Helsinki 20-22nd of September
  • Possibly prefer remote place for meeting to create group and team spirit and discuss without distractions: Project kick-off scheduled for Sep 5


  • CodeRefinery may offer recordings from live sessions but no standalone webinars
  • Software: and
  • Adobe Connect (already paid for) can also record sessions

Reference Group (RG)

  • Recommendation of the SG is to get feedback and input and contact from the direct contacts at training events - it requires trainers to ask and get that feedback but is more lightweight than maintaining a RG
  • This project is possibly too small for a full fledged RG: could do user forum instead of reference group and end of the project survey to measure impact


  • Everybody except CSC: focus and push the staffing. Very important and huge risk factor to delay the project start.
  • Michaela check accounting plans within resource sharing project.
  • Radovan sends half a page person profile to Lene
  • Radovan and Lene need to interact and identify areas to simplify hiring/involvement within DeIC
  • Hans and Radovan can scan the communities in Norway for possible candidates if no candidate within the providers can be found (e.g. Software Carpentry community in Oslo)
  • Radovan to contact known future members straight away, inform them of future plans and invite them to slack
  • Michaela try to get a CV of future members and contract them
  • Michaela check on capacity measuring tool needed within NT1
  • Radovan finishes next iteration of the project plan before end of June (including matching ganttcharts and deliverables to what was discussed during this SG meeting)
  • Radovan needs to plan kick-off meeting with project group in September
  • Rossen will send Radovan survey material from BioExcel
  • Lene helping in organising a CodeRefinery workshop at the NORDUnet conference in Helsinki, September, 20-22
  • Radovan do a doodle poll for next physical meeting

Decision points for next meetings

  • Code repository: Should we offer hosting for secure code hosting?
  • Self-assessment: how often meetings? Style? Feedback to Gudmund.