Software Carpentry Week in Review (9 – 15 December 2013)

Scientific computing doesn’t have to hurt. – Greg Wilson

GitHub and Lesson Development

Joshua Adelman made his first contribution to the GitHub repository this week, with a small but much-needed fix to a missing image in the Novice Python lessons.

We have also come to a resolution on the use of .Rmd files in the bc repository. The current policy is to accept pull requests containing generated content from .Rmd files only, under the provision that further pull requests must take care to modify the .Rmd files and their generated content in sync, and that we will eventually replace this with better build infrastructure.

Justin Kitzes also asked some insightful questions about our move to a two-branch development model. If you’d like a little more intuition about the process or its rationale, head to the discussion here.


Software Carpentry will be offering a live version of our instructor training course on April 28-30, 2014, at the Mozilla office in Toronto. Registration is now open, and costs only $80 (though participants must cover their own travel and accommodation). Over the course of three days, 36 participants will be introduced to ideas from educational psychology and instructional design, and shown how to use them to teach programming to scientists (and everyone else). Please forward the announcement to potentially interested instructors.


Ben Morris and James Morrison taught a workshop at Glasgow University this week that covered Shell, Python, Version Control, Testing, and Make. The course repository is available here.

Some upcoming bootcamps



How GitHub works

I feel like there should be a Software Carpentry badge for drawing one of these for someone for the first time. – Amy Brown

Kaitlin Thaney announces the Mozilla Science Lab’s newest project, extending their existing work around code as a research object, exploring how we can better integrate code and scientific software into the scholarly workflow. The project will build and test a bridge to allow users to push code from their GitHub repository to figshare, providing a Digital Object Identifier for the code. MSL will also be working on a best practice standard (like MIAME for code) so that each research object has sufficient documentation to make it possible to meaningfully use. More info at the full post.

Get Involved!

The front-page README is getting a bit crowded, and our install instructions also could do with some refactoring. Please get in touch with Aron Ahmadia or jump on the install instructions issue here if you’re interested in taking responsibility for this.

Have a good week!