Research Day Blog

Keeping track of my research day activities!

July 30, 2019

For my first-ever research day, I decided to focus on skills that would be directly applicable in my current role. It wasn’t hard to decide that it would be invaluable to focus on developing skills with the system API that I work with nearly daily, but that I lack experience with, and a conceptual understanding of. I worked my way through the training manual, though I’m certainly left with some lingering questions. For example, some of the arguments seem not to be present in the manual, and some thoughts about constructing scripts using a combination of unix commands and local tools need some clarification.

Some of the things I learnt during my research day were:

  • the way our databases are structured and which keys are used where
  • server configuration (specifically, what does this Unicorn directory I keep using mean)
  • what are Unix commands and the Bourne and Bash shells?

I now feel like I have a better basic understanding of how the API functions and which tools to use for which types of problems. However, I wish I would have a better understanding of exactly how to write some of the commands, because I have a sneaking feeling that many options were missing in the training manual. I think this because there are some scripts that I use, which were created before my time, that have inputs or outputs not defined in the manual. When I get back to work I’ll see if I can find the definitions in the API using another shortcut I learnt about “-x” to list tool, input and output options, and if not I’ll ask my supervisor for assistance.

All of this was made even better by the view! I took the opportunity to work at one of my local public libraries – the Hillsburgh Public Library. Recently opened as architecturally part heritage house, the library is on the water and has an exceptional view and beautiful collection, and the commute was 10 minutes instead of approximately 2 hours.