Software Carpentry Remote Workshop at University of Campinas
On June 04-05 I participated at the best Software Carpentry Workshop so far for those that I attended.
I’m grateful to EA2 that allows their room to be used for the workshop and also for provided coffee for the event.
I’m grateful to Jennifer Shelton, Maneesha Sane and Natalie Robinson, the Software Carpentry instructors that taught at the workshop.
I’m grateful to Eric Lopes, Felipe Bocca and Renato Augusto Corrêa dos Santos that helped the students a lot during the workshop.
At this workshop we had 23 learners from at least three countries with many affiliations (University of Campinas, University of São Paulo, Federal University of São Carlos, EMBRAPA and CNPEM) and carriers stages (first-year undergraduates, PHD students and senior researchers).
All learners attended both days of workshop and stay until the end.
The workshop started with Jennifer Shelton’s lesson about the UNIX Shell. We didn’t have any installation problem or serious one and the helpers managed all the small problems. The only think that I still need to understand is why the default behavior of sort at Mac OS X is different from the default behavior of sort at GNU/Linux and equals to sort -n. Maybe this is another case of Mac OS X and GNU/Linux difference that I will try to memorize for the future (I already know two: /Users vs /home and date).
R - First Day
In the afternoon of the second day, Natalie Robinson taught the begin of Software Carpentry’s R standard lesson. Again, we didn’t have any installation problem or serious one and the helpers managed all the small problems.
At the end of the second day, I taught a RMarkdown lesson just to advertise this awesome tool. Here we had serious problems because (1) I didn’t ask the learners to download knitr in advance, (2) the internet connection wasn’t very fast, and (3) in some cases a CRAN mirror could not be found.
Also, a few learners had a old version of RStudio that only have the option to convert RMarkdown to HTML and a different template that the one that I was using.
To close the first day, I and the helpers joined to have some pizza and talk about what happened in the first day and others topics like open science, open access, open data, ...
I was lazy replying some emails and made a mistake with time zones. Sorry very much to Maneesha Sane for my mistake.
Because of my mistake, I taught the first part of the Git lesson. Again, we didn’t have any installation problem or serious one and the helpers managed all the small problems.
Maneesha Sane taught the second part of the Git lesson that include collaboration using GitHub and resolution of conflicts during collaboration.
The only problem in this part was with learners that need to use a proxy at their work and the proxy was messing when trying to send data to GitHub using Git.
R - Second Day
In the afternoon of the second day, Natalie Robinson joined us again to taught plots in R using the built in library.
To close the workshop, I talked a little about Software Carpentry and Felipe talked about ggplot.
Some participants of the workshop want to visit the hackerspace that exists in Campinas (we call it LHC since is the acronym for “Laboratório Hacker de Campinas”) and we went there after the workshop and talked for a while.
Learners liked the initiative of a workshop to cover computational tools and the lessons.
The complains were:
- speaker hasn’t a good sound (we replaced the speaker on the second day for a better one),
- slow internet connection,
- poor coffee break, and
- echo (at instructors side).
I’m waiting to get the feedback from the instructors to know how hard was the workshop.