Research theme

Coding

Much of my current research—especially within the legal technology theme—involves coding (computer programming). Over the past two years I’ve been developing an innovative approach to studying how United Kingdom law works in practice with the help of software I code specifically for my research (see the legal technology theme).

Currently, I mostly use Python and JavaScript, with Elasticsearch as a database. With Python (and Pandas) I collect data, link various data sources, and execute other data wrangling and analysis tasks. I also use R, but exclusively for data visualization (with ggplot2). I often work in Jupyter Notebooks, though I prefer to write more complex code in a more traditional code editor. I’ve been using JavaScript to create interfaces for more advanced exploration of data stored in Elasticsearch instances and for manual ‘coding’ of research datasets.

I’m now designing larger research projects that will involve a team of collaborators. For those projects, I’m considering cloud-based architectures relying on microservices, including some serverless cloud functions, and a real-time document database. This kind of research infrastructure can revolutionize the quality of research in social science, which lags significantly behind the standards adopted, for example, in medical research (eg by adopting full traceability of all data operations). If you are interested in DevOps for social science, I’m keen to exchange ideas!

I started coding professionally as a teenager in mid-2000s, focusing on web technologies like (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and to a lesser extent Java. I retained an interest in the back-end side of technology while working as a junior lawyer. At DZP, the leading Polish law firm, I put my skills to use developing an online platform serving productized legal advisory to pharmacies. I was also involved in an early attempt to use machine learning for compliance audits in the life sciences industry.

This website

I built this website using Hugo and the Academic theme for Hugo, which I customized quite significantly. The graphic design is a result of a collaboration between me and my sister, a talented designer.

The website’s code is hosted on GitHub and deployed through Netlify.

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