November 26-27, 2015
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Instructors: Juan Nunez-Iglesias, Alistair Walsh, Sam Hames
Helpers: David Lawrence, Paul Wang
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, 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".
Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.
Requirements: Participants must bring a wifi-capable laptop, from which they will logon to the Data Intensive Tools for the Cloud (DIT4C) environment on the NeCTAR Research Cloud. This environment has all the required software pre-installed, so there's nothing participants need to bring or do in preparation for the workshop.
Having said that, there are software installation instructions below for participants who'd like to install the software on their own computer before or after the workshop. Also note that participants are required to abide by Software Carpentry's Code of Conduct.
Wifi: Laptops must have a working WiFi adapter, and connection will be through your usual University of Adelaide login. Attendees from other academic institutions will have a login provided on the day.
Contact: Please mail email@example.com for more information.
|09:00||Automating tasks with the Unix shell|
|13:00||Version control with Git|
|09:00||Building programs with Python|
We will use this Etherpad for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.
GitHub is an online hosting service for all your code. We'll be using it in the lesson on version control, and GitHub credentials are used for login authentication on DIT4C. GitHub accounts are free, so sign up for one if you don't already have an account.
During the first session of the workshop, the instructors will give you the compute node name and access code you'll need for the Data Intensive Tools for the Cloud (DIT4C) environment that is hosted on the NeCTAR Research Cloud. Once you've got that name and code, navigate to the DIT4C homepage (it works best in the Chrome browser) and follow these instructions:
The DIT4C environment comes with all the required software pre-installed, however if you would like to install the software on your own computer (either before or after the workshop), here are the instructions to do so.
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.
Download the Git for Windows installer. Run the installer. Important: on the 6th page of the installation wizard (the page titled `Configuring the terminal emulator...`) select `Use Windows' default console window`. If you forgot to do this programs that you need for the workshop will not work properly. If this happens rerun the installer and select the appropriate option. 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
/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.
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.
nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. It should be pre-installed.
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 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., 3.4 is fine).
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).
bash Anaconda-and then press tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear.
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).
Once you are done installing the software listed above, please go to this page, which has instructions on how to test that everything was installed correctly.