0403-Dev Documentation Startseite

Welcome to the documentation of the student innovation platform.

The documentation should always be understood as work-in-progress since parts are moving quickly in VSETH. Suggestions and improvements are very welcome. If you have any questions or improvements, please don't hesitate to write a comment (smile) .

What is the SIP?

SIP - student innovation platform - is the IT development and hosting platform by VSETH to revolutionise how software is developed, deployed and maintained at VSETH. The SIP consists of coherent infrastructure on which applications are deployed, a set of powerful tools to help you in your development work and some design principles that should streamline our understanding of how to develop (good) software.

Motivation for the SIP

As a technical university quite a lot of people who are active in student organisations at ETH Zurich have a strong technical background and want to use their skills to improve the internal processes of their organisation or the services offered by the organisation. This is reflected in the number of custom software application which have been developed inside of VSETH: over 120 in total - which range from simple newsletter tools to complex event management systems - and the number of software products (mostly open source) hosted by VSETH organisations, which have a huge positive impact on VSETH and therefore also on the representation and services offered to students at ETH Zurich.

However developing and hosting IT applications reliable and securely is hard and has been a challenge for most of the student organisations, since they don't have the necessary structures and know-how in their organisation. Additionally since every student organisation runs their own IT infrastructure sharing software between organisation has been hard.

The student innovation platform has to goal to tackle both of these problems for all student organisations by

  • creating and maintaining a standardised IT infrastructure which all student organisations can use and which supports development by providing off-the-shelf solution for common use-cases such as testing and authentication.
  • defining a set of standards which all applications adhere to, therefore enabling software sharing between different student organisations.

By implementing the student innovation platform VSETH radically simplifies the task of creating and hosting software solutions for student organisations and therefore enables all student organisations to do so. Since the processes for developers are simplified and streamlined between organisations more students can be motivated to develop software for student organisations, which overall improves the student organisations, their services and representation and in the long run the student life at ETH Zurich.

Structure of the Documentation

This documentation is still heavily under construction as it still constantly gets enhanced and is currently in the transition to the new structure shown below.

Some of the core ideas are taken from the Presentation "What nobody tells you about documentation" by Daniele Procida at PyCon Australia 2017.

How to develop on the SIPThis section contains hands-on guides to get you started on the SIP. If you are new to this documentation, this is probably the place you want to check out first.
Concepts and Design PrinciplesThe SIP was designed and developed with a few core design principles in mind. If you're interested in learning more about these concepts and the vision behind SIP you can find some information about that in this section
ReferenceThis section provides in-depth information about how to develop for the SIP. If you want to know how to use or configure a certain aspect of your SIP application, look no further.
TODOThe beauty of SIP is that developers are able to develop, deploy and maintain applications on the SIP, without ever getting in contact with the "dirty" problems of infrastructure. However if you're interested in taking a look under the hood you can find some information about the underlying infrastructure here.
Current ProjectsThe VSETH IT Community has a lot of ongoing projects that you can. This section presents some of the projects we are currently working on.
Join UsYou've read the whole documentation and are excited about the work VSETH is doing. That's awesome, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. Go to this section to learn more how you can help to make SIP even greater.

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