Software Carpentry at Johns Hopkins

This week Joshua Smith and I hosted a Software Carpentry boot camp at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. We also had awesome teaching help from Sasha Wood and Mike Droettboom.

We opted for a small class since this was our first time hosting a boot camp and because of space limitations. Based on the rate at which people signed up for the class it didn’t seem like there was massive local demand anyway, but we were pleasantly surprised when we had a student from Brooklyn, NY and a student commuting from Virginia. There is definitely some existing demand for the skills Software Carpentry offers and I’m glad we could put on an accessible boot camp for those people.  Most of the rest of the students were physics and astronomy grad students or post-docs from JHU and STScI.

The boot camp was broken into four half-day courses: shell, Python, version control, and software engineering. Mike and I co-taught the Python and software engineering sessions.

The overall feedback from the students was quite positive and I’m looking forward to doing this again. (Here is the requisite good/bad Software Carpentry feedback post: Below I have some notes on the sections I taught, plus some overall thoughts.Read More »

Essential Everyday Python Links

This week I’ll be teaching beginning Python at a Software Carpentry bootcamp in Toronto and I’m planning to leave the students with my most frequently visited Python links. This is strictly core Python, no third-party packages.

What are your most visited core Python references?


  • Prasanth suggests Doug Hellmann’s  Python Module of the Week. Doug covers most of the modules in the Python standard library with nice descriptions and examples.