“Software Carpentry” boot camp to cover tools and techniques for making research computing less painful, faster

I'm interested in attending

March 5, 2014
RAWL 3058

A “Software Carpentry” boot camp may not leave Purdue researchers and their graduate students more prepared for future woodworking projects, but it should give them some new tools and techniques to get research computing tasks done with less hassle, more efficiently and faster.

The two-day spring break boot camp at Purdue, set for March 17 and 18, will cover topics such as using the Bash shell to do more in less time, basic Python programming for data analysis and other purposes, employing version control to manage and share information, and program testing, debugging and documentation.

The Software Carpentry program, started at Los Alamos National Laboratory and now supported by the Mozilla and Sloan foundations, is geared to helping scientists and engineers become more productive by teaching them fundamental research computing skills on which they can build. The curriculum is tailored to help early-career graduate students in particular, although any Purdue researcher may attend.

“Most researchers want to be more effective,” says Jeff Shelton, a visiting mechanical engineering professor at Purdue and one of the Software Carpentry program’s trainers. “We get reports of people being four to ten times more efficient with their time because they’ve learned to automate what they’re doing.”

The Purdue boot camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day March 17 and 18 in Rawls Hall, Room 3058. Software Carpentry is designed for participants who are familiar with basic programming concepts (such as loops, conditionals, arrays and functions) but need help translating their knowledge into practice to work more productively.

There is no fee to attend, but registration by March 11 is required. Lunch will be served both days. To register, visit:


ITaP Research Computing (RCAC) is sponsoring the boot camp at Purdue. In addition to Shelton, the instructors will be Neal Davis from the University of Illinois and Joshua Herr from Michigan State, who also are trainers for the Software Carpentry program.

Participants need to bring a laptop with a few specific software packages installed. The list of software will be sent to those registered a week before the boot camp.

Originally posted: March 5, 2014