David PS

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My first full Software Carpentry workshop

14 Aug 2015 categories: SwC  

This week has been my first full software carpentry workshop where I thought the Shell. I am familiar with the terminal since before this century started, when I was introduced to Linux by my educators (CS students) at the boarding school. And then I knew already how to deffend myself on MS-DOS - since I was six! So trying to explain somethings that is obvious for me is quite challenging. I prepared the material well in advanced, read it and follow the order, then I used my girlfriend as my Guinean pig the day before the workshop started to know when and where I was not being clear. It took us most of the day, but when the next day I had to deliver it, everything when smooth and everyone (hopefuly) understood all. I could not teach the whole lesson, some bits like the history, find or grep where left for the students, but now I’m sure they know how to browse within the directories, organise their files and do loops for repetitive tasks. However, surprising enough, I’ve found out that solar physicists are not the only ones tied to csh (or newer variants), also the people from the Center for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing at University of Surrey haven’t upgraded to something more sane like bash.

After each lesson we were asking for feedback in a post-it, and this is how it looked after my one… still a lot to improve, but that’s good, they were very meaningful comments!

!image post-it

The day continued with lessons on git and then the following day with python, testing and a real life example: SheppLogan Radon transform. The whole workshop was a success, very tiring, but a great success.

We encounter some problems with the installations like issues with computers with usernames with cyrilic characters, windows 10 computers crashing once per day and history command unavailable for some. All of these have been already reported upstream - and hopefully solved. We managed to “solve” the cyrilic problem by installing all the tools (swc and anaconda) outside the user main directory and the path in the git bash terminal was able to find them.

It was an amazing experience, and I’m looking forward for the next one, maybe at my work or somewhere near-by.