Training

4982558043_06968b80f1_z.jpgBy Mike Jackson, Software Architect

Early March saw us deliver our annual Software Carpentry workshop for the Regenerative Medicine Centre for Doctoral Training at The University of Manchester. I was joined by co-instructors Peter Smyth and David Mawdsley and helpers Nicolas Gruel and Nilani Ganeshwaran from The University of Manchester. Our course was run within the impressive redbrick edifice that is the Sackvile Street Building.

We gave the attendees an introduction to the bash shell, good programming practice using Python, and version control with Git. We started with 20 attendees and ended with 16, which is one of the lower rates of attrition I've seen.

There were the inevitable setup problems arising from attendees having Linux, Windows and Mac OS, and different flavours of Python. This meant that for some attendees, as one commented, "my Anaconda software and what was on the projector was different" and that the course was "sometimes hard to follow."

Of the concepts covered, loops seemed to be the most challenging, for both bash shell and Python, attendees questioning why they are used and in what circumstances. One attendee commented that "Some of the coding vocab is a bit lost on me!" which coincidentaly relates to a recent thread on the Software Carpentry…

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carpentrycon2018Registrations are now open for CarpentryCon 2018 in Dublin. The event will take place from 30th May to 1st June 2018. 

CarpentryCon 2018 is the key networking and community building event in the Software and Data Carpentries' (now The Carpentries') annual calendar. This three-day event will help develop the next generation of research leaders by providing practical skill-ups, networking, workshops and all kinds of discussions.

The Carpentries have announced that the first CarpentryCon will take place from 30 May-1 June 2018 at the University College Dublin, Ireland.

CarpentryCon aspires to become a major learning, skill-building and networking event for the global Carpentries community. CarpentryCon 2018 will focus on three main themes:

  • community building,
  • sharing knowledge and
  • networking.

More details about CarpentryCon 2018 can be found from the official Carpentries announcement.

The Institute is helping organise and run a Software Carpentry taster on 18 May 2017 at Digital Humanities @ Manchester Digital Texts workshops.

Together with our colleagues from Research IT, University of Manchester, and University of Sheffield Library, we are running a half-day introduction to the command line and automating tasks for the digital humanities based on the Software and Library Carpentry's shell lesson.

The Carpentry session will take place on the morning of day one of a two-day event comprising of three mini workshops on 18th & 19th May at the School of Digital Humanities in Manchester.

Registration is free and there are still places available.

For other workshops at the same event—run by Pip Willcox, Head of the Centre for Digital Scholarship at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford—, see:

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), also called Doctoral Training Centres (DTCs), are one of the several ways by which research councils in the UK provide support for advanced, high-level and increasingly interdisciplinary scientific training following undergraduate studies.

Some of the CDTs may require training in basic software development skills in order to help scientists improve or speed up their research, ensure that their results are more reliable and verifiable, encourage sharing code and collaboration with others and aid reproducibility overall. For this reason, the Institute was interested in finding out the details of CDTs (supported by our funding organisations and close collaborators - EPSRS, BBSRC, ESRC, NERC and AHRC), including:

  • their training strategy
  • how many students are in their cohorts each year
  • when did the first cohort start and when will the last cohort start
  • how are they spread geographically

As the Institute already has multi-year training agreements with some CDTs relating to running and coordinating Software Carpentry (SWC) and Data Carpentry (DC) workshops, we were also interested to identify other such centres, as they were likely to be interested in either helping with setting up regional training centres or setting up their own software training.

The task of collecting details of CDTs was made easier by using information available in RCUK’s Gateway to Research, a website which provides information relating to publicly-funded research and training projects (and APIs to access that information programatically). Only a few adjustments had to be done manually (for missing, newly-announced centres) by looking directly on…

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The Software Sustainability Institute, ELIXIR UK and the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford are jointly organising a Bioinformatics Software Carpentry workshop in NGS data analysis. 

The workshop will be held at the Medical Sciences Teaching Center (MSTC) over 3 days, 5th-7th December 2016. The first two days will cover the standard Software Carpentry curriculum (introduction to the UNIX shell, GitHub as well as programming and data visualisation in R). The third day will involve hands-on next generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis in R. The aim is to make the course accessible to beginners, however some prior bioinformatics knowledge/skills will be an advantage. 

Please visit the workshop page for further information. The workshop is completely booked. However, if you are interested in attending, please get in touch with Aleksandra Nenadic in the case there are some cancellations and late availability.

Library CarpentryWhat is Library Carpentry?

Library Carpentry introduces librarians to the fundamentals of computing and provides them with a platform for further self-directed learning, based on similar initiatives Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry.

Library Carpentry is made by librarians, for librarians to help them:

  • automate repetitive, boring, error-prone tasks

  • create, maintain and analyse sustainable and reusable data

  • work effectively with IT and systems colleagues

  • better understand the use of software in research

  • and much more…

How it started?

Library Carpentry was started by James Baker, Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 2015. James used his Fellowship funds to launch initial Library Carpentry workshops, which attracted 59 participants from 14 institutions in London and reached 200-250 librarians. Since then, a number of workshops have run in various countries across four continents.

Find out more about the Library Carpentry activities.

 

There are still some places left at the Data Carpentry for Social Scientists and Humanities workshop organised by the SSI Fellow 2016 Heather Ford at the University of Leeds on 21-22 November 2016. 

This two-day event is aimed at researchers in the social sciences, humanities and other disciplines who want to learn how to use popular tools for data cleaning, management and visualisation in a hands-on, interactive workshop. 

James Baker accepts British Library Labs awardLibrary Carpentry (lead by the James Baker, Software Sustainability Institute Fellow 2015) wins the British Library Labs 2016 award for Teaching and Learning on 7th November 2016.

James is using the award fund to run even more Library Carpentry workshops (see the Library Carpentry workshop call).

What is Library Carpentry?

Library Carpentry is made by librarians, for librarians to help you:

  • automate repetitive, boring, error-prone tasks
  • create, maintain and analyse sustainable and reusable data
  • work effectively with IT and systems colleagues
  • better understand the use of software in research
  • and much more…

Library Carpentry introduces you to the fundamentals of computing and provides you with a platform for further self-directed learning. Find out more about Library Carpentry activities.

British Library Labs Awards 2016

The annual BL Labs Awards, introduced in 2015, recognises outstanding and innovative work that has been carried out using the British Library’s digital collections and data. This year, they commend work…

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Data Carpentry is programme inspired by Software Carpentry. Both programmes maintain close ties which helps to build a community of practice among the instructors and expand the base of teaching materials. Data Carpentry aims to teach the skills that will enable researchers to be more effective and productive in working with data.

As an official Data Carpentry Foundation Partner, we coordinate Software Carpentry activities in the UK by helping organise workshops for the UK research community. For more information about our collaboration with Data Carpentry or organising a Data Carpentry workshop in the UK, email us at info@software.ac.uk.

What is Data Carpentry

Data Carpentry Foundation is a sister organisation of Software Carpentry Foundation designed to teach researchers skills to retrieve, view, manipulate, analyse and store their or other people's data in an open and reproducible way.

Data Carpentry workshops have been running since 2014. As in Software Carpentry, teaching is delivered through intensive two-day workshops. Contrary to Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry designs the…

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