Software Carpentry Boot Camp

Software Carpentry’s goal is to help scientists and engineers become more productive by teaching them basic computing skills like program design, version control, testing, and task automation.

In this two-day boot camp, short tutorials will alternate with hands-on practical exercises. Participants will be encouraged both to help one another, and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems during and between sessions. There will be online follow up sessions for 6 to 8 weeks extending the material from the boot camp.


The course is aimed at postgraduate students and other scientists who are familiar with basic programming concepts (like loops, conditionals, arrays, and functions) but need help to translate this knowledge into practical tools to help them work more productively.


Before coming to the boot camp please ensure you have the following software installed on your laptop: Bash shell, Make, a text editor, Python 2.6+, Mercurial, Python setuptools and nose, sqlite, Firefox and Firefox’s SQLite Manager plug-in. You should also register for a free account on BitBucket. For instructions as to how to check if you already have these, and how to install these if you don’t, please see our set up page lists the software we expect you to have installed on your laptop before you come to the boot camp. If you have any problems please e-mail the boot camp organiser.

Example Schedule

Day 1

  • Introduction and what we know about software development
  • Using the shell to do more in less time
  • Using version control to manage and share information
  • Automation and make

Day 2

  • Basic Python programming
  • How (and how much) to test programs
  • Putting it all together and feedback from attendees


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