Celebrating our largest international training event and hackathon to date

  • Phil Ewels
  • 25 April 2023

In mid-March, we conducted our bi-annual Nextflow and nf-core training and hackathon in what was unquestionably our best-attended community events to date. This year we had an impressive 1,345 participants attend the training from 76 countries. Attendees came from far and wide — from Algeria to Andorra to Zambia to Zimbabwe!

Among our event attendees, we observed the following statistics:

  • 40% were 30 years old or younger, pointing to a young cohort of Nextflow users;
  • 55.3% identified as male vs. 40% female, highlighting our growing diversity;
  • 68.2% came from research institutions;
  • 71.4% were attending their first Nextflow training event;
  • 96.7% had never attended a Nextflow hackathon.

Read on to learn more about these exciting events. If you missed it, you can still watch the Nextflow & nf-core training at your convenience.

Multilingual training

This year, we were pleased to offer Nextflow / nf-core training in multiple languages: in addition to English, we delivered sessions in French, Hindi, Portuguese, and Spanish.

In our pre-event registration, ~88% of respondents indicated they would watch the training in English. However, there turned out to be a surprising appetite for training in other languages. We hope that multilingual training will make Nextflow even more accessible to talented scientists and researchers around the world.

The training consisted of four separate sessions in 5 languages for a total of 20 sessions. As of April 19th, we’ve amassed over 6,600 YouTube views with 2,300+ hours of training watched so far. 27% have watched the non-English sessions, making the effort at translation highly worthwhile.

Thank you to the following people who delivered the training: Chris Hakkaart (English), Marcel Ribeiro-Dantas (Portuguese), Maxime Garcia (French), Julia Mir Pedrol and Gisela Gabernet (Spanish), and Abhinav Sharma (Hindi).

You can view the community training sessions on YouTube here:

The videos accompany the written training material, which you can find at https://training.nextflow.io/

Improved community training resources

Along with the updated training and hackathon resources above, we’ve significantly enhanced our online training materials available at https://training.nextflow.io/. Thanks to the efforts of our volunteers, technical training, Gitpod resources, and materials for hands-on, self-guided learning are now available in English and Portuguese. Some of the materials are also available in Spanish and French.

The training comprises a significant set of resources covering topics including managing dependencies, containers, channels, processes, operators, and an introduction to the Groovy language. It also includes topics related to nf-core for users and developers as well as Nextflow Tower. Marcel Ribeiro-Dantas describes his experience leading the translation effort for this documentation in his latest nf-core/bytesize translation talk.

Additional educational resources are provided in the recent Seqera Labs blog article, Learn Nextflow in 2023, posted in February before our latest training event.

The nf-core hackathon

We also ran a separate hackathon event from March 27th to 29th. This hackathon ran online via Gather, a virtual hosting platform, but for the first time we also asked community members to host local sites. We were blown away by the response, with volunteers coming forward to organize in-person attendance in 16 different locations across the world (and this was before we announced that Seqera would organize pizza for all the sites!). These gatherings had a big impact on the feel of the hackathon, whilst remaining accessible and eco-friendly, avoiding the need for air travel.

The hackathon was divided into five focus areas: modules, pipelines, documentation, infrastructure, and subworkflows. We had 411 people register, including 278 in-person attendees at 16 locations. This is an increase of 38% compared to the 289 people that attended our October 2022 event. The hackathon was hosted in multiple countries including Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the United States.

We would like to thank the many organizations worldwide who provided a venue to host the hackathon and helped make it a resounding success. Besides being an excellent educational event, we resolved many longstanding Nextflow and nf-core issues.

Hackathon photo

You can access the project reports from each hackathon team over the three-day event compiled in HackMD below:

You can also view ten Hackathon videos outlining the event, introducing an overview of the teams, and daily hackathon activities in the March 2023 nf-core hackathon YouTube playlist. Check out activity in the nf-core hackathon March 2023 Github issues board for a summary of what each team worked on.

A diverse and growing community

We were particularly pleased to see the growing diversity of the Nextflow and nf-core community membership, enabled partly by support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Diversity and Inclusion grant and our nf-core mentorship programs. You can learn more about our mentorship efforts and exciting efforts of our global team in Chris Hakkaart’s excellent post, Nextflow and nf-core Mentorship on the Nextflow blog.

The growing diversity of our community was also reflected in the results of our latest Nextflow Community survey, which you can read more about on the Seqera Labs blog.

Hackathon photo

Looking forward

Running global events at this scale takes a tremendous team effort. The resources compiled will be valuable in introducing more people to Nextflow and nf-core. Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s training and hackathon events. We look forward to making these even bigger and better in the future!

The next community training will be held online September 2023. This will be followed by two Nextflow Summit events with associated nf-core hackathons:

  • Barcelona: October 16-20, 2023
  • Boston: November 2023 (dates to be confirmed)

If you’d like to join, you can register to receive news and updates about the events at https://summit.nextflow.io/summit-2023-preregistration/

You can follow us on Twitter at @nextflowio or @nf_core or join the discussion on the Nextflow and nf-core community Slack channels.

Hackathon photo
Hackathon photo


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