I usually analyze data of experiments and although I have a general schema of steps I need to do, I might need to tweak it to the specifics of the experiments or the questions behind. I am usually the only one coding.
I looked at wikipedia but I am unsure which methodology I can use, partially because I have never followed any, and partially because I sometimes just explore the data, to see what it looks like, and other times I just want an answer. (And because I am not much expected to test or have a certain quality on my code)
I was prompted to ask this question after an hour or two discovering that r function
table relies on the order of the vectors and not on the name of the elements to compare them to. Then I though I should have tested the behavior and functions where I used with some mock data. But I used table after other analysis resulted in lack of information, thus I couldn't have followed the test-driven development methodology (if I understood it right). However I feel that with some improvement in the way I face the project, I could be more efficient, aside from detecting errors sooner, but also how and what to look for in case I doubt a result, so please don't focus in just this example mistake.
Which software methodology fits best in research?
I am basically asking how to to ensure quality and timed progress as well as keeping the specificity of research.
Example of how I work:
A biologist has in mind a question and knows that doing a experiment will lead to have data of interest (ie, gene expressions levels in two conditions), then she/he set the experiment and recollect samples from 10 people/mice/rats... Now I must analyse that data for those 10 samples using existing libraries and tests (or implementing new tests) but taking into account the question the biologist had in mind (ie which genes are more expressed in one condition than in other). The structure is the same as in previous experiments (which involved 6 conditions and another animal) but the statistical test, normalizations, data structure may change. So I usually copy a previous version and adapt it to the current needs.