Codefest 2016

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OpenBio Codefest 2016 is July 6th and 7th, 2016 (the Wednesday and Thursday before BOSC 2016) in Orlando, Florida at FamiLAB.

This 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, newcomers to bioinformatics and everything in between.

This is the seventh annual pre-BOSC Codefest. Previous fun and successful events were Codefest 2010 in Boston, Codefest 2011 in Vienna, Codefest 2012 in Los Angeles, Codefest 2013 in Berlin, and Codefest 2014 in Boston and Codefest 2015 in Dublin.


The goal of Codefest is to bring open source bioinformatics programmers together to have an enjoyable and productive two days. Practically this results in a number of useful outcomes:

  • Improving and expanding existing open source code, documentation and infrastructure (see the summaries from Codefest 2015, Codefest 2014 and Codefest 2013 for examples of work accomplished in previous years).
  • Developing new communities working on shared problems. For example, the Common Workflow Language developed from discussions at Codefest 2014.
  • Establishing new friendships, helping to expand the open source bioinformatics community.


Why attend

  • For current community members: expand your network and strengthen existing relationships. Teach and learn from new community members. Focus on open source work without interruptions. Discuss questions and problems in real time.
  • For everyone: discuss and learn from the community. Teach others what you know. Build new friendships and collaborations.

If you have any questions or thoughts, please get in touch with Brad directly, in the Gitter chat room or on the Codefest 2016 mailing list.

What to expect

The OpenBio Codefest 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 the 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 BOSC presentation and meeting report.

Please feel free to get in touch with any of the organizers with questions. You are very welcome at Codefest.


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 Codefest 2016 mailing list, so please sign up to discuss and receive updates.

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

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


Codefest is kindly hosted by FamiLAB, an Orlando community space for creators.


FamiLAB is located north of Orlando International Airport and about an hour drive from the BOSC/ISMB venue at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel. Participants should fill out this waiver in order to get a temporary badge to FamiLAB.

For Codefest, we recommend staying in a hotel near FamiLAB. Nearby choices are:

These are close (~10 minute walk apart) and we will use taxi/Uber/shared rides to get between the venue and hotel so can coordinate with everyone attending. We will organize a shuttle from Codefest to the BOSC venue on the evening of July 7th for everyone attending Codefest. Please fill out this doodle poll if you need a ride or can provide a ride to the BOSC venue on Thursday evening. We recommend a taxi/Uber for getting from the Airport to FamiLAB.

We plan to have food and coffee available for everyone attending. The rough schedule for the two days is:

  • Wednesday July 6th 9am: Meet at FamiLAB, coffee, introductions and organization into projects.
  • Wednesday July 6th 10-1: Work in groups
  • Wednesday July 6th 1pm: Provided Lunch at FamiLAB, Black Bean Deli + post-lunch presentations on progress and organization
  • Wednesday July 6th 2-6: Work in groups
  • Wednesday July 6th 6pm: End of day presentations, then pay your way group dinner (location to be decided)
  • Wednesday July 6th late evening: additional work at your discretion
  • Thursday July 7th 9am: Meet at FamiLAB, coffee, provide status updates and organize.
  • Thursday July 7th 10-1: Work
  • Thursday July 7th 1pm: Provided lunch at FamiLAB, Jason's Deli + post-lunch presentations on progress
  • Thursday July 7th 2-6: Work
  • Thursday July 7th 6pm: Wrap up presentations + quick pay your own way dinner
  • Thursday July 7th 7pm: Shuttle to Disney BOSC venue

This is completely flexible based on progress and needs of attendees. There is an Google Hangout for remote participants that will be on when we're working at FamiLAB. Feel free to ask in the Gitter Chat channel if you're wondering about the current status at any time.


Curoverse logo
PLOS logo
Arvados logo

We thank Curoverse for sponsoring the BOSC Codefest once again, and welcome PLOS as a new Codefest 2016 sponsor.

We're looking for additional sponsors interested in being involved with the open source community. If interested, please get in touch with Brad.

Related Events

Immediately after our Codefest, as part of ISMB 2016 (including our annual meeting BOSC 2016), there is a Sequence-Structure Moonlight Hackathon being organised by the NCBI and RCSB PDB with the ISCB. Note this has a formal registration system, with a fee unless already registered for the main ISMB meeting.