The OCNS/INCF Software Working Group


Neuroscience cannot exist without the tools that we all rely on. So, this Working Group (WG) will focus on these. We’ll find and discuss tools, we will learn how to use them, we will test and review them, we will file bugs to inform the developers of issues, and finally we will try to learn how they work and try to get involved in their development—to ensure that these tools that we rely on remain in good shape by having communities looking after them. Since many members of the WG are themselves tool developers, we will also learn from each other and will work towards improving interoperability between related tools.

While we do all of this, we will improve our knowledge of transferable skills: anything involved in modern software development (which are not limited to only writing tools, but are extremely important/useful when developing models using these tools).

The WG is shared between the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) and the Organization for Computational Neurosciences (OCNS). OCNS is also a member of the INCF.


The WG is designed to not be linked to any one particular goal to allow it remain flexible enough so that it can take on projects that its members are interested in working on. Currently, the goals of the WG are to:

  • write up a set of best practices in software development and encourage software developers in the research community to check their tools against there;
  • host regular “developer sessions” where developer teams of various tools discuss their development pipelines—to disseminate various development practices, and help potential contributors get started.