DataCite is pleased to welcome Mike Bennett to our team. Mike joined DataCite as an application developer in November 2021.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you did before you started working for DataCite?
Before working for DataCite, I was a developer with the University of Edinburgh Digital Library team. There I was involved in a wide range of projects, from developing new software and workflows to enhance the digital provision of the University’s special collections, through upkeep and enhancement of the repository systems and services run by the Digital Library, to academic and research collaboration with colleagues from various disciplines across the wider University.
Prior to Edinburgh, I worked at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, as the main developer for the innovative Broadside Ballads Online project, and later as part of the Oxford Research Archive team.
What interested you in working for DataCite?
I am a strong believer in making knowledge as accessible as possible, and I think that DataCite’s work in helping to enhance the scholarly record and enable better tracking and citation of research is an important step towards these goals.
On top of this, I am an advocate of open-source development, and appreciate the model at DataCite of not just publishing the code for our software, but also maintaining a public and transparent view of the whole development process.
Lastly, the position at DataCite will provide me with the opportunity to expand and enhance my skills with various technologies, not just with coding, but also the full end-to-end workflow from design, to development, and deployment.
What technologies are you interested in?
My recent background has been heavily Python focused and more server-side so that is where I lean most comfortably. Recently I have been developing an interest in automated deployment techniques and learning about the technologies and approaches therein so I look forward to having the chance to work more on that at DataCite, along with expanding into more client-side and frontend work.
Outside of DataCite, I also sit as a co-chair for the International Image Interoperability Framework’s Content Search Technical Specification Group, so I have a lot of interest in search technologies and in the ways that people, especially end-users/consumers of services approach search interfaces.
Given your background working on technology for an academic institution, how can DataCite make it easier for them to use DataCite services?
I am echoing a recurring theme here, but having a richly functional and clearly documented API makes such a huge difference when integrating an external service.
Another approach that can be hugely beneficial is provision of API functionality, or example scripts/software that can cover many of the common use cases encountered by academic institutions (e.g mass migration of data, ways of identifying older/incomplete records, etc).
From an end-user perspective, providing intuitive and well designed interfaces, as well as clear documentation and step-by-step guides can significantly improve the experience of interacting with the web frontends of the services.