Oct 16-17, 2017
9:00 - 17:00
Instructors: Manos Farsarakis, Adrian Jackson
Helpers: Tom Wallis, Craig Reily, William Kavangh, Robbie Simpson, Stephen McQuistin
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 workshop is hosted by EPCC, Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, and organised in collaboration by ARCHER, the Software Sustainability Institute, and UoE Research Data Service.
ARCHER, the UK's national supercomputing service, offers training in software development and high-performance computing to scientists and researchers across the UK. As part of our training service we are running a two-day Data Carpentry workshop.
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 need to have previous experience working with the Unix Shell. For a brief introduction to bash, you can refer to the SWC material available online You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.
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 organisers 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 and we will attempt to provide them.
Contact: Please email email@example.com for more information.
To register, or to get more information, please, visit the ARCHER training page.
Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.
|9:00||Welcome and set-up|
|9:30||Version control with Git|
|11:00||Version control with Git|
|13:30||Automating tasks with Make|
|15:30||Automating tasks with Make|
|13:30||Data Management with SQL|
|15:30||Data Management with SQL|
|16:30||Wrap-up and feedback|
SQL session: Google Document.
We will use this document for sharing exercises, URLs and bits of code.
Workshop Feedback: http://bit.ly/171016-SWC-Glasgow.
Feedback helps us improve and also helps us continue to get funding to run more workshops like this. Thank you!
To participate in a Software Carpentry workshop, you will need working copies of the software described below. Please make sure to install everything (or at least to download the installers) before the start of your workshop.
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.
Bash is a commonly-used shell that gives you the power to do simple tasks more quickly.
cmdand press [Enter])
setx HOME "%USERPROFILE%"
SUCCESS: Specified value was saved.
exitthen pressing [Enter]
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
See the Git installation video tutorial
for an example on how to open the Terminal.
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).
You will need an account at github.com for parts of the Git lesson. Basic GitHub accounts are free. We encourage you to create a GitHub account if you don't have one already. Please consider what personal information you'd like to reveal. For example, you may want to review these instructions for keeping your email address private provided at GitHub.
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. See the Git installation video tutorial for an example on how to open nano. It should be pre-installed.
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., 3.4 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 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 DownloadsThen, try again.
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).
Originally invented to manage compilation of programs written in languages like C, Make can be used to automatically update any set of files that depend on another set of files. This makes it a good solution for many data analysis and data management problems. While there are many build tools now in existence (e.g. ANT and CMake) they share the same fundamental concepts as Make.
Make will have been installed by the SWC installer.
For OS X, version 10.9 (Mavericks) or above, download the Command Line Tools by doing:
For more information, see the OSX Daily blog.If you have an older OS X version and you do not already have access to
makefrom within your shell, you will need to install XCode (which is free, but over a gigabyte to download).
Once XCode has installed:
You will now be able to run
make within your shell.
Make is a standard tool on Linux systems and should already be available.
For this workshop we're going to use the Firefox SQLite Plugin. It works through the web browser Firefox.
To check you have the necessary software and tools:
Workshop Slides (password to download: "Glasgow"):
Software Carpentry online lessons:
Wilson G, Aruliah DA, Brown CT, Chue Hong NP, Davis M, et al. (2014) Best Practices for Scientific Computing. PLoS Biol 12(1): e1001745. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001745.
Sandve GK, Nekrutenko A, Taylor J, Hovig E (2013) Ten Simple Rules for Reproducible Computational Research. PLoS Comput Biol 9(10): e1003285. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003285.
Noble WS (2009) A Quick Guide to Organizing Computational Biology Projects. PLoS Comput Biol 5(7): e1000424. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000424.
Ram K (2013) "git can facilitate greater reproducibility and increased transparency in science", Source Code for Biology and Medicine 2013, 8:7 doi:10.1186/1751-0473-8-7.
Glass, R. (2002) Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering, Addison-Wesley, 2002. (PDF).Contact GitHub API Training Shop Blog About © 2017 GitHub, Inc. Terms Privacy Security Status Help