July 6-7, 2015
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Instructors: Azalee Bostroem, Matt Davis, Jess Hamrick, Ted Hart, Katy Huff, Thomas Kluyver, Jens Nielsen, April Wright
Helpers: Elizabeth Seiver
Software Carpentry's mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, and task automation. We'll also briefly introduce the basic libraries of scientific Python. 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".
Contact: Please mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
|Automating tasks with the Unix shell
|Building programs with Python
|Version control with Git
|Introduction to Scientific Python
We will use this Etherpad for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.
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. Once you are done installing the software listed below, please go to this page, which has instructions on how to test that everything was installed correctly.
Please download and unzip the following files containing course materials (you don't need to do anything else with them until the workshop):
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 the editor installed by the Software Carpentry Installer, it is a basic editor integrated into the lesson material.
Notepad++ is a popular free code editor for Windows. Be aware that you must add its installation directory to your system path in order to launch it from the command line (or have other tools like Git launch it for you). Please ask your instructor to help you do this.
Kate is one option for Linux users. In a pinch, you can use nano, which should be pre-installed.
Bash is a commonly-used shell that gives you the power to do simple tasks more quickly.
Install Git for Windows by downloading and running the installer. This will provide you with both Git and Bash in the Git Bash program.
It installs and configures nano (Among other things)
This installer requires an active internet connection.
After installing Git Bash:
The default shell in all versions of Mac OS X is bash, so no
need to install anything. You access bash from the Terminal
/Applications/Utilities). 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).
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 yum install git.
Python is a popular language for scientific computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its scientific packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend an all-in-one installer.
Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x, not version 2.x (e.g., 3.4 is fine but not 2.7). We will teach this workshop using Python 3.
We will teach Python using the IPython 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).
We recommend the all-in-one scientific Python installer Anaconda. (Installation requires using the shell and if you aren't comfortable doing the installation yourself just download the installer and we'll help you at the workshop.)
bash Anaconda-and then press tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear.
press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the
default location for the files. Type
press enter to prepend Anaconda to your
(this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).