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University of Sydney

Dec 8-9, 2015

9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Instructors: Luc Small

Helpers: Joanna Diong, Cali Willet, Jared Berghold

General Information

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.

Where: Charles Perkins Centre Seminar Room 2.01, Building D17, Johns Hopkins Drive (off Missenden Road). Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop. They are also required to abide by Software Carpentry's Code of Conduct.

Contact: Please mail for more information.


Day 1

Arrival Pre-workshop Survey
09:30 Automating tasks with the Unix shell
11:00 Short break
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Building programs with Python
15:00 Short break
16:30 Wrap-up

Day 2

09:30 Building programs with Python (continued)
11:00 Short break
12:30 Lunch break
13:30 Version control with Git
15:00 Short break
16:30 Wrap-up
Wrap-up Post-workshop Survey


The Unix Shell

  • Files and directories
  • History and tab completion
  • Pipes and redirection
  • Looping over files
  • Creating and running shell scripts
  • Finding things
  • Reference...

Programming in Python

  • Using libraries
  • Working with arrays
  • Reading and plotting data
  • Creating and using functions
  • Loops and conditionals
  • Defensive programming
  • Using Python from the command line
  • Reference...

Version Control with Git

  • Creating a repository
  • Recording changes to files: add, commit, ...
  • Viewing changes: status, diff, ...
  • Ignoring files
  • Working on the web: clone, pull, push, ...
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Open licenses
  • Where to host work, and why
  • Reference...


To participate in this workshop you will need a laptop with an up-to-date web browser (Chrome or Firefox is recommended) configured to connect to the internet (say via the University of Sydney wi-fi network).