Introduction to Research Engineering

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Revision as of 15:00, 3 January 2016 by Aginzberg (Talk | contribs) (Milestone 3: Playing Around Locally)

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Welcome! This page offers a guide and some helpful tips to begin contributing to our research engineering efforts. We assume some preparation in computer science, in particular web programming, and a desire to learn and work hard. The following milestones outline a path to gaining familiarity with our codebase and will empower you to start making code contributions.

Documentation and Specifications


  • <insert angular tutorial>
  • <insert django tutorial>
  • SQL

Milestone 0: The Basics

Before you being working on Daemo, we assume the following:

  • You have a Github account and understand pulling, pushing, forking, etc.
  • You have Postgres installed on your machine.
  • You have some familiarity with pip.

Milestone 1: Learning our Stack

Time to dust off your web programming skills (or pick up a few new ones).

If you are interested only in frontend work, you will need to be strong in HTML, CSS, and AngularJS. And most importantly be very familiar with Material Design. We assume you already know pretty everything you need to know or can figure it out when it comes to HTML and CSS. For those new to AngularJS we recommend the following (link here)tutorials and reading/playing with some of the templates and js files in our codebase. You will be using Angular Material components so give that page a close read as well as the Material Design spec.

If you are interested in backend work, you will need to be strong in Django and SQL.

Milestone 2: Getting Setup Locally

Go to our repo and follow the instructions in the README.

Milestone 3: Tips for Playing Around Locally

If you have successfully completed Milestone 2, a simple python runserver will get Daemo running on your local server. However, before you jump into creating projects and doing work, there are still some things you need/may want to do.

Creating an account. This may be trickier than it sounds. You will find that when you try to register locally, the site will say that it is closed for registration. There are a few steps you will need to complete in order to successfully make an account locally. Hint: look through csp/ and check out whats going on in your database (if you aren't using an IDE, the psql shell is nice and it might be worth looking through the SQL tutorial for how to UPDATE or INSERT).

Saving the state of your database. Sometimes when you're debugging backend changes, deleting your database may be the best course of action. However, you don't want to have to recreate your accounts and perfect projects every time. Tip: look into dumpdata and loaddata.

Try out the Django REST framework. Play around with different endpoints and create your own. Maybe check out http://localhost:8000/api/project/ to get started.

Alternatively, try sending HTTP requests. Use cURL or your favorite REST client.

Make sure your browser isn't caching and that you compile your scss if you're doing frontend work.

Milestone 4: Issues and Pull Requests

Watch our short screenshare for a very simple approach to solving issues and creating a PR.