January 10-11, 2018
8:30am - 4:30pm
Instructors: Christina Koch, Patrick Shriwise, Sarah Stevens, Carolyn Voter
Helpers: Matt Garcia, Maria Kamenetsky, Andy Pohl, Taylor Scott
Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.
For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing".
For researchers who have no prior experience with programming and just want to get started in some basic skills for organizing, combining, and visualizing data, our UW-Madison Data Carpentry workshop (January 8-9) will likely be more appropriate. These two workshops are NOT intended to be taken back-to-back, and you can learn about future workshops at UW-Madison by joining the mailing list of UW-Madison's Advanced Computing Initiative.
Who: The course is aimed at UW-Madison-affiliated graduate students, staff, and other researchers. Some prior experience with programming is strongly recommended.
Where: Orchard View Room, Discovery Building, 330 N. Orchard St., Madison, WI. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.
When: January 10-11, 2018. Add to your Google Calendar.
Requirements: Participants should plan to attend BOTH days of the workshop and bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating sytem (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below). They are also required to abide by Software Carpentry's Code of Conduct.
Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organisers have checked that:
Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you (e.g. sign-language interpreters, lactation facilities) please get in touch (using contact details below) and we will attempt to provide them.
Contact: Please email ContactACI@lists.wisc.edu for more information.
Please be sure to complete this surveys before workshop.
We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.
|09:10||Automating tasks with the Unix shell|
|13:00||Building programs with Python|
|16:30||Social gathering at the Sett!|
|09:00||Version control with Git|
|13:00||Version control with Git|
|14:45||Building programs with Python|
After the workshop: We will be hosting follow-up sessions during the week of January 16 - 19. See this page for more details.
To participate in a Software Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.
We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.
Bash is a commonly-used shell that gives you the power to do simple tasks more quickly.
cmdand press [Enter])
setx HOME "%USERPROFILE%"
SUCCESS: Specified value was saved.
exitthen pressing [Enter]
This will provide you with both Git and Bash in the Git Bash program.
The default shell in all versions of Mac OS X is Bash, so no
need to install anything. You access Bash from the Terminal
See the Git installation video tutorial
for an example on how to open the Terminal.
You may want to keep
Terminal in your dock for this workshop.
The default shell is usually Bash, but if your
machine is set up differently you can run it by opening a
terminal and typing
bash. There is no need to
Git is a version control system that lets you track who made changes to what when and has options for easily updating a shared or public version of your code on github.com. You will need a supported web browser (current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or Internet Explorer version 9 or above).
You will need an account at github.com for parts of the Git lesson. Basic GitHub accounts are free. We encourage you to create a GitHub account if you don't have one already. Please consider what personal information you'd like to reveal. For example, you may want to review these instructions for keeping your email address private provided at GitHub.
Git should be installed on your computer as part of your Bash install (described above).
For OS X 10.9 and higher, install Git for Mac
by downloading and running the most recent "mavericks" installer from
After installing Git, there will not be anything in your
as Git is a command line program.
For older versions of OS X (10.5-10.8) use the
most recent available installer labelled "snow-leopard"
If Git is not already available on your machine you can try to
install it via your distro's package manager. For Debian/Ubuntu run
sudo apt-get install git and for Fedora run
sudo dnf install git.
When you're writing code, it's nice to have a text editor that is
optimized for writing code, with features like automatic
color-coding of key words. The default text editor on Mac OS X and
Linux is usually set to Vim, which is not famous for being
intuitive. if you accidentally find yourself stuck in it, try
typing the escape key, followed by
:q! (colon, lower-case 'q',
exclamation mark), then hitting Return to return to the shell.
nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. To install it, download the Software Carpentry Windows installer and double click on the file to run it. This installer requires an active internet connection.
Others editors that you can use are Notepad++ or Sublime Text. Be aware that you must add its installation directory to your system path. Please ask your instructor to help you do this.
nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. See the Git installation video tutorial for an example on how to open nano. It should be pre-installed.
Others editors that you can use are Text Wrangler or Sublime Text.
nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. It should be pre-installed.
Others editors that you can use are Gedit, Kate or Sublime Text.
Python is a popular language for research computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its research packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend Anaconda, an all-in-one installer.
Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., 3.6 is fine).
We will teach Python using the Jupyter notebook, a programming environment that runs in a web browser. For this to work you will need a reasonably up-to-date browser. The current versions of the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers are all supported (some older browsers, including Internet Explorer version 9 and below, are not).
bash Anaconda3-and then press tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear. If it does not, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file, for example with:
cd DownloadsThen, try again.
yesand press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the default location for the files. Type
yesand press enter to prepend Anaconda to your
PATH(this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).