SKA telescope developer portal
Welcome to the Square Kilometre Array software documentation portal. Whether you are a developer involved in SKA or you are simply one of our many users, all of our software processes and projects are documented or linked to in this portal.
The portal is frequently updated as the project evolves; if you feel that something is missing, please have a look at our guide to contributing to the developer portal
If you’re new to developing the SKA, please have a look at our Onboarding material and the guideance on setting up your development environment.
Please also read the SKA Code of Conduct, which governs all SKA interactions.
What follows is a brief guide to the headings you’ll find in the left-hand sidebar of this site. Feel free to explore!
Getting Started and the SKA Developer Community
This section is about getting you up and running. It contains the onboarding material for all new SKA developers, the general contribution guidelines when working on SKA projects, guidance on setting up your development environment, and a list of projects, so you know what the SKA is working on. There is also a wealth of information about our development tools and practices, which you can read as you start development work.
Development tools and practices
Here is the journey SKA Developers take to turn ideas into deployed code. Some of these tasks will be done every day; others less frequently. Feel free to click on each item to navigate to relevant explanations, tutorials, how-to guides or reference documentation.
PyTango Developer Journey
This journey is based on a pytango developer journey for now but will be changed to support more later.
Develop Inside a Container
Set up Environment: Clone the Repo
Create the Work Branch
Set up Environment: Clone the Repo
Create the Work Branch
Coding & Testing
Build Python Wheel
Get Unit Tests Running Locally
Push Code to Gitlab
Write Your Dockerfile
Build and Run Your Dockerfile
Get Tests Running in Cloud/CICD
Create/Update My Helm Chart
Integrate with databases
Integrate with Secrets
Run Integration Tests
Deploy to PSI/ITF?
SKA git repositories
The SKA uses git as its distributed version control system, and all SKA code shall be hosted in an SKA organisation. The gitlab organization ska-telescope can be found at https://gitlab.com/ska-telescope. All SKA developers must have a gitlab account and be added to the organisation. See Working with GitLab for further details.
Working with SKA Jira
Every team is tracking daily work in a team-based project on our JIRA server at https://jira.skatelescope.org. Our internal wiki, Confluence, has guidance on how we use JIRA. We rely on integrations between GitLab and JIRA to manage our work.
CI/CD: Continuous Integration and Deployment
CI/CD is at the heart of SKA development, and we use GitLab’s automation extensively, so we can test and deploy our software more efficiently.
To support our testing and CI/CD pipelines, we have the multiple kubernetes clusters configured to allow testing to happen.
To facilitate code portability and reliability and test running, we use containers. We also use kubernetes as our container orchestration system.
Working with BinderHub
To enable developers to share their code and collaborate, while being provided with enough computational resources to execute it.
While we prefer working code over documentation (as Agile developers), we also recognise that this is a large and long-lived project, so documentation has an important place.
Package Release Process
What you need to know in order to release an SKA software package.
Vault Secret Management
What you need to know in order to keep your secrets secret.
Making sure your software project outputs useful logs for the SKA
You’ve deployed your code on one of our test systems. Now you want to monitor it.
What to do when you find a bug in SKA code.
Guidelines to the coding standards we apply in the SKA. Not available for all languages.
Questions frequently asked by developers.
Policies and Procedures
Fundamental SKA Software & Hardware Description Language Standards
These standards underpin all SKA software development. The canonical copy is held in eB, but the essential information is here:
Software Product Quality Assurance plan
This Software Product Quality Assurance Plan (SPQAP) defines the Quality Assurance requirements and management activities for the development of software by the Agile Development Teams through the PSSC Contracting arrangements, and the delivery of the software by the SKAO.
This document is a mapping to the SKA Product Quality Assurance (PQA) Plan, that describes the roles and responsibilities of the SKAO and the Contractors and provides an itemised response to the Product Quality Assurance Management, and the PQA Requirements sections.
Software Development Security Policy
Most of the software used for the control and operation of the SKAO telescopes will be developed by SKA Community members and contributors. To ensure the smooth operation of the SKAO and minimise the risk of software vulnerabilities, information security must be incorporated within the software development lifecycle of SKAO software. This document describes how this must be achieved.
Compute Access Policy
While we like to keep as much as possible open, we can’t allow everyone access to the computing hardware that powers our telescopes. Therefore we have defined groups who can get certain kinds of access to our computing hardware, and that is described in this document.
Definition of Done
The definition of done is used to guide teams in planning and estimating the size of stories and features:
Testing Policy and Strategy
The testing policy and strategy is used to align people to the goals of testing and to guide them in establishing an effective testing process:
The incident management workflow is used to guide teams in dealing with anomolous conditions that lead to some form of service outage, unexpected system behaviour or degraded system performance:
About the SKA
For information about the SKA, have a look at this section.
Contribute to the SKA Developer Portal
We encourage all members of the development community to submit improvements to the Developer Portal. These pages describe how you can contribute changes to the Developer Portal.