Attendees at the 2018 GCCBOSC CoFest


In conjunction with our annual meeting BOSC, the OBF runs a collaborative event (formerly called CodeFest, short for coding festival, and now called CollaborationFest, or CoFest for short). At these events, participants work together to contribute to bioinformatics software, documentation, training materials, and use cases.

This year’s CoFest will take place the two days after BOSC, July 26-27, at The Swiss Innovation Hub for Personalized Medicine in Basel, Switzerland. Registration is free; sponsorships offset the cost of venue, coffee and snacks.


CoFest is an opportunity for anyone interested in open science, biology and programming to meet, discuss and work collaboratively. Everyone is welcome to attend. We will have a mix of experienced developers, users, trainers, and researchers, newcomers to bioinformatics, and everything in between.

The goal of many collaborative work events is to produce code, period. CoFest’s goals are much wider:

  • Grow and foster the contributor community for open source bioinformatics projects.
  • Extend, enhance, and otherwise improve open source bioinformatics code.
  • Create, extend, and otherwise improve non-code artifacts, such as documentation and training materials

What to expect

The BOSC CollaborationFest is a collaborative two-day working session. The only requirement for attendance is that you have an interest in open source software and solving scientific problems. We will have contributors to open source bioinformatics tools present to collaboratively work with, and we welcome new attendees who want to learn and contribute to open source code or documentation.

The rough structure of the two days is:

  • Start with introductions from everyone attending about their goals and plans for the two days.
  • Assemble into working groups based on shared interests like programming languages, open source projects or biological questions. We use the collaboratively brainstormed Google document as the basis for setting up groups. Attendees determine the goals for the two days. If you have an idea for a project, please add it before the event. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
  • Work and discuss. Enjoy a productive time.
  • We’ll have regular breaks where each group can deliver short reports on their progress.
  • We have informal lunches, dinners, and drinks as a way for everyone to get to know each other better.
  • At the end of the two days, we summarize contributions and work accomplished in a meeting report.


You are very welcome to attend. There is no cost; we only ask you to register to help organize numbers. Please add yourself if you are interested to this Google spreadsheet. We’ll coordinate through the CoFest Gitter chat room and BOSC Gitter chat room, so please sign up and introduce yourself there.

If you’re not able to physically attend, we’re still more than happy to have you participate in CoFest. Please sign up on the the Google spreadsheet and list yourself as remote only. Our CoFest Gitter chat room will be used to coordinate and discuss in real time and we’ll have an open Google Hangout to make it easier to be part of CoFest remotely.

Add your project ideas to the shared google document. The ideas can include smaller focused projects and larger work. We want suggestions from everyone and will organize into groups around these during CoFest.


The host venue for CoFest will be:

The Swiss Innovation Hub for Personalized Medicine
Hochbergerstrasse 60C, 4057 Basel, Switzerland.

More details will be forthcoming shortly!


This will be the 10th annual pre- or post-BOSC collaboration fest. Previous fun and successful events were Codefest 2010 in Boston, Codefest 2011 in Vienna, Codefest 2012 in Los Angeles, Codefest 2013 in Berlin, Codefest 2014 in Boston, Codefest 2015 in Dublin, Codefest 2016 in Orlando, Codefest 2017 in Prague, and GCCBOSC Collaboration Fest 2018 in Portland.


We welcome for sponsors interested in being involved with the open source community. Sponsorship money will cover venue costs, help provide food and drink for the CoFest and any surplus can help other activities like our Open Bioinformatics Foundation Travel Fellowships. If interested, please get in touch with any of the organizers (CoFest) or the BOSC committee (general).


CoFest 2019 organizers: Alexander Peltzer, Michael Heuer, Peter Cock.