Posted: 22 Jul 2019 | 11:14
Last month a Software Carpentry workshop organised by EPCC in collaboration with ARCHER and the Software Sustainability Institute was held in York. We had around twenty attendees from various backgrounds such as genetics, physical sciences, and engineering among others. My EPCC colleague Mario joined me as my fellow instructor and we also had the valuable support of three knowledgeable helpers from the Department of Physics at the University of York: Phil Hasnip, Peter Hill, and Killian Murphy.
“Is it sequel (siːkwəl) or SQL (ˈɛs ˈkjuː ˈɛl)?”… and other questions you might answer when instructing your first CarpentryAuthor: Stephen Worthington
Posted: 13 Jun 2019 | 14:44
The Carpentries is a community of instructors and learners promoting the importance of good software and data practices in research. If you’ve not heard of The Carpentries, I encourage you to read more. And if you’re Edinburgh based, learn about our own branch of The Carpentries.
Perhaps, as was the case with me recently, you’ve signed up to instruct on your first Carpentry and don’t know exactly what to expect. Read on for an account of some of the questions you may be asking yourself (or that I asked myself, at least) and some questions you may be asked while instructing. Hopefully I can provide you with some useful answers to these.
Posted: 18 Oct 2018 | 12:47
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.
Posted: 2 Mar 2018 | 11:57
Recently, with my Software Sustainability Institute (SSI) hat on, we helped to deliver a Software Carpentry Course here at Edinburgh organised by the School of Physics and Astronomy (SOPA). My fellow instructors were my EPCC colleagues Mike Jackson and Neelofer Banglawala, and SOPA's Andy Washbrook.
Posted: 29 Aug 2016 | 10:35
With my Software Sustainability Institute hat on, I recently participated in a back-to-back Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry course sponsored by the University's Research Data Service here at the University of Edinburgh. The courses were held in the main University library in a gorgeous room with a glass wall, providing a rather distracting view of the Meadows parkland.
Posted: 21 Jun 2016 | 07:59
Choice, choice, choice
I'm often asked "What programming language should I learn for scientific computing?". Or I get involved in religious-like discussions about the best programming language for a particular task, or of all time (think Python vs Fortran, Go vs C, etc...). What's my answer?
Just recently I realised that, to me, programming languages are like musical instruments.
Posted: 18 May 2016 | 17:13
The workshop was led by Steve Crouch, the Institute’s Research Software Group Leader, and Aleksandra Pawlik, the Institute’s Training Leader. The event was attended by 15 participants from a number of UK research organisations, including one from a Spanish university. These newly trained instructors will soon join the impressive UK instructor pool of almost 70 certified Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry instructors.
Posted: 10 May 2016 | 00:07
Useful software design
Prompted by a recent discussion of a blog post discussing applying commercial development techniques to academic software development, I've been trying to formalise the software design process I'd recommend to academic software developers.
Just the term, software design, puts a lot of people off. It sounds like a long, elaborate process, full of requirements capture and storyboards, but it really doesn't have to be. I think anyone who is writing programs will be doing some form of software design, even if that design is just following the process they've always used, but are just not formalising it. However, formalising your software design could bring important benefits.
Posted: 16 Dec 2014 | 11:27
In 2013, the DiRAC consortium rolled out the DiRAC driving licence, a software skills aptitude test for researchers wanting to use DiRAC's high-performance computing resources. Now ARCHER, the UK National Supercomputing Service, is to roll out an ARCHER driving test.
Despite their similar names, these tests differ in nature, intent, scale and reward. In this post, EPCC's Mike Jackson, Andrew Turner and Clair Barrass compare and contrast these two supercomputer tests.
Posted: 11 Dec 2014 | 12:24
Last week EPCC's ARCHER training team ran another Software Carpentry workshop here in Edinburgh, on 3rd and 4th of December. The workshop provided attendees with an introduction to version control and Git, building programs with Python, automating tasks with Make, and how (and how much) to test programs. These were set within the context of best practices for scientific computing.