Presentation Open Access

Writing Clean Scientific Software

Murphy, Nicholas A.


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  "description": "<p>This presentation discusses strategies for writing clean scientific software.&nbsp; Choosing meaningful variable names improves readability.&nbsp; Functions should be short, do exactly one thing, and have no side effects.&nbsp; High-level big picture code should be separated from low-level implementation details, for example by writing code as a top-down narrative.&nbsp; Because comments often become out-of-date as code evolves, it is preferable to refactor code to improve readability rather than describe how it works.&nbsp; Well-written tests increase the flexibility of code.&nbsp; This presentation encourages us to think of code as communication.</p>", 
  "license": "https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode", 
  "creator": [
    {
      "affiliation": "Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian", 
      "@id": "https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6628-8033", 
      "@type": "Person", 
      "name": "Murphy, Nicholas A."
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      "@id": "https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3491142", 
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  "datePublished": "2020-06-29", 
  "url": "https://zenodo.org/record/3922957", 
  "version": "1", 
  "keywords": [
    "Research software engineering", 
    "Clean coding"
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  "name": "Writing Clean Scientific Software"
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