University of Southern Queensland

02-03 October 2019

9.00 am - 4.30 pm

Instructors: Francis Gacenga, Adam Sparks, Richard Young

Helpers: Tegan Darnell, Michael Lane, Mathieu Clerte, Ron Ward, Jake Clark, Dag Evensberget

General Information

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".

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: Rooms B207 A+B, Building B, 37 Sinnathamby Boulevard, Springfield Central QLD 4300. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: 02-03 October 2019. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (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 organizers 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 eResearchServices@usq.edu.au for more information.


Surveys

Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Schedule

Day 1 - Wed 02 Oct

Before Pre-workshop survey
09:00 Introduction to the Unix shell
10:30 Coffee
10:45 Automating tasks with the Unix shell
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Working with shell scripts and finding things
14:30 Coffee
14:45 Plotting and Programming in Python
15:45 Wrap-up
16:00 END

Day 2 - Thu 03 Oct

09:00 Plotting and Programming in Python
10:30 Coffee
10:45 Plotting and Programming in Python
12:00 Lunch break
13:00 Plotting and Programming in Python
14:30 Coffee
14:45 Plotting and Programming in Python
15:45 Wrap-up
16:00 Post-workshop Survey
16:15 END

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Syllabus

The Unix Shell

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

Plotting and Programming in Python

  • Variables, Assignment, Data Types, Type Conversion, Built-in Functions and Help
  • Libraries, Reading Tabular Data into DataFrames, Pandas DataFrames, Plotting
  • Lists, For Loops, Looping Over Data Sets,
  • Writing Functions
  • Variable Scope
  • Conditionals
  • Programming Style
  • Reference...

Setup

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.

The Bash Shell

Bash is a commonly-used shell that gives you the power to do simple tasks more quickly.

Windows

We will supply Windows participants access to a VM running Linux. For Windows computers please install PuTTY. PuTTY is an SSH and telnet client. Install from PuTTY installer or or if using a USQ computer from within USQ install from USQ KACE. Video Tutorial

Linux

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 install anything.

Text Editor

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 macOS and Linux is usually set to Vim, which is not famous for being intuitive. If you accidentally find yourself stuck in it, hit the Esc key, followed by :+Q+! (colon, lower-case 'q', exclamation mark), then hitting Return to return to the shell.

Windows

nano is a basic editor and the default that instructors use in the workshop. It is installed along with Git.

Others editors that you can use are Atom is cross-platform, works on all three major OS and is easy to use or 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.

macOS

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 BBEdit or Sublime Text.

Linux

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

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).

Windows

Video Tutorial
  1. Open https://www.anaconda.com/download/#windows with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Windows.
  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation except make sure to check Add Anaconda to my PATH environment variable.

macOS

Video Tutorial
  1. Open https://www.anaconda.com/download/#macos with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for OS X.
  3. Install Python 3 using all of the defaults for installation.

Linux

  1. Open https://www.anaconda.com/download/#linux with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Linux.
    (The installation requires using the shell. If you aren't comfortable doing the installation yourself stop here and request help at the workshop.)
  3. Open a terminal window.
  4. Type
    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 Downloads
    Then, try again.
  5. Press Return. You will follow the text-only prompts. To move through the text, press Spacebar. Type yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the default location for the files. Type yes and press enter to prepend Anaconda to your PATH (this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).
  6. Close the terminal window.