Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences

Home » Publications » Best Practices for Scientific Computing

Best Practices for Scientific Computing

A set of best practices for scientific computing, by Wilson et al (2014).

Scientists spend an increasing amount of time building and using software. However, most scientists are never taught how to do this efficiently. As a result, many are unaware of tools and practices that would allow them to write more reliable and maintainable code with less effort. We describe a set of best practices for scientific software development that have solid foundations in research and experience, and that improve scientists’ productivity and the reliability of their software.

In a nutshell:

  1. Write programs for people, not computers
  2. Let the computer do the work
  3. Make incremental changes
  4. Don’t repeat yourself (or others)
  5. Plan for mistakes
  6. Optimize software only after it works correctly
  7. Document design and purpose, not mechanics
  8. Collaborate

Read the full recommendations here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: