27th Nov 2014

Thirty researchers received training in basic programming at the GARNet/CGR Software Carpentry Bootcamp last week at the University of Liverpool. 

Kwasi Kwakwa and Marios Isaakidis, both volunteer Software Carpentry Instructors delivered the training, supported by volunteer helpers Bert Overduin, Fatima Silva and Sam Haldenby.

The trainees ranged from PhD students to botanic garden curators to academics with established research groups, but all were keen to learn the basics of programming so they could begin to use code for their work. Most of them had no knowledge of programming at all when they arrived, but during the bootcamp were equipped with basic knowledge of command line programming, version control using git and GitHub, and Python for scientific programming. In two days only a very basic level of training can be delivered, but trainees felt they left with enough information to continue learning by themselves or through other workshops.

Software Carpentry is a foundation that aims to teach basic computing skills to scientists in order to make them more productive. Founded in 1998, it runs short, intensive workshops that cover program design, version control, testing, and task automation. Many training materials are available online for personal use or to use at training events.

There is an overview of GARNet’s experience of hosting Software Carpentry Bootcamps on the GARNet blog. If you are interested in hosting your own, take a look and we are also happy to speak to you about it.

Robyn Drinkwater blogged about her experience of the bootcamp on the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's Botanics Stories blog.

The bootcamp was funded by NERC, through the Centre for Genomic Research (CGR) at the University of Liverpool and BBSRC through GARNet.