Edinburgh Carpentries' computing and data training goes virtual

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 1 Jun 2020 | 14:40

The Edinburgh Carpentries provide researchers with training in basic computing and data skills, even while the country is in lockdown.   

Carpentries workshops aim to improve research methods by demonstrating tooling and processes that will make researchers more productive. They also enable researchers to produce more sustainable and reproducible research outputs in alignment with the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) motto: “Better software, better research”. 

Edinburgh Carpentries: spreading good practice in software

Author: Guest blogger
Posted: 14 May 2019 | 10:24

Lucia Michielin, currently working for the Software Sustainability Institute, tells us about the Edinburgh Carpentries effort and a networking event to be held on the 24th of May.

Edinburgh Carpentries, a new training initiative, was launched on September 2018 at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with the Software Sustainability Institute. Since then the initiative has started to propagate to other institutes in the Edinburgh area, eg Heriot Watt University. Edinburgh Carpentries uses and leverages teaching materials and infrastructure from The Carpentries (

Using OpenRefine to create new datasets

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 28 Apr 2019 | 16:07

One of the benefits of teaching a Carpentry course is that it can increase or deepen your understanding of a subject. A recent instance for me was in using OpenRefine, a tool that runs locally on your machine (you do not have to export your data to a third party service).

OpenRefine can help you:
• Explore and clean/transform your data. You can reconcile your data with other external data sources, i.e. enrich your data using external data

• Create a new dataset. It does not modify your original data and keeps provenance of all the steps. Depending on the capabilities of your local machine it can deal with data sets that are up to about 100k rows.

Watch the videos on the OpenRefine website for a good overview. If you want to know more, follow the Carpentry OpenRefine for Ecologists lesson. In this example, I am going to show how easy is to generate a new dataset from the EPCC website. Follow along after you have installed OpenRefine on your system.

Broadcasting your shell output

Author: Mario Antonioletti
Posted: 18 Oct 2018 | 12:47

During a Software Carpentry course you, as an instructor, stand in front of a class typing your lesson content, eg bash or git, and the students type what you type into their own shell.

Depending on the layout of the room, you need to make the font on your terminal large enough for all students to see it, which can be somewhat disorientating as an instructor. Moreover if the layout of the room is not ideal, eg some students are facing away from the screen, they will have to constantly turn to see the screen, which can be a pain for them. But I recently found a Python app that changes all that.

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