DReSA: Adapting a web application for the research community in Australasia

Mr Nicholas May1

1CSIRO (Associate), Melbourne, Australia

Digital Research Skills Australasia (DReSA) emerged from a grassroots movement, among trainers and training providers, to improve the discoverability of digital skills training events and materials. An outcome of the ARDC Skills Summit in 2020 was the establishment of the ‘National Training Registry and Calendar Working Group’. After scoping the landscape for appropriate solutions, the working group identified the Training eSupport System (TeSS), used by the ELIXIR organisation, as an exemplar. This system provided an open-source foundation from which to build a solution for the local community.

In April 2021, a project was established to adapt TeSS for use by Australasian researchers and research training providers. This presented several challenges, including overcoming the tight binding that the TeSS codebase had to the original deployment, being the first to connect a Ruby on Rails application as an Australian Access Federation’s (AAF) service and dealing with deployment tasks that were dependant on the acquisition of an appropriate domain name.

Project management follows the agile development cycle, using a GitHub repository and project board. This allows the Working Group to have increased awareness of progress and regular opportunities for feedback, and ensures the alignment of development to project priorities. Furthermore, this methodology has resulted in active and ongoing engagement by the Working Group members with the development activities.

DReSA was given a soft launch in late June and is undergoing a second phase of development. In addition, resources have been secured to maintain the production environment until mid-2022.


Nicholas is an accredited software engineer with over thirty years of Information Technology experience, across a variety of roles, languages, systems and domains. The last thirteen years have been spent in the research domain, partly in a software architecture research group, but mostly helping researchers, and research training organisations, with software and data projects and technology. More recently he has been actively engaged in the Research Software Engineering (RSE) community, as a member of the organising committee for the 2019 UK RSE conference, and as secretary of the RSE Association of Australian and New Zealand (RSE-AUNZ).


Aug 25 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Aug 24 - 25 2021
  • Time: 6:00 pm - 4:00 am