Rachel Poretsky, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolution, hosted two day Softward Carpentry Bootcamp
Nearly 30 students and faculty members participated in the first Software Carpentry Bootcamp hosted at UIC on October 17-18. With a motto of "scientific computing doesn't have to hurt," Software Carpentry aims to teach basic software skills to researchers in science, engineering, and medicine. Founded in 1998, they are now part of the Mozilla Science Lab. Instructors are volunteers and bootcamps take place all over the world. The UIC bootcamp was taught by instructors from local institutions such as UIC, UIUC, University of Chicago, and Argonnne National Lab with support from Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and LAS. The bootcamp included short tutorials and hands-on practical exercises, and participants were encouraged both to help one another and to try applying what they have learned to their own research problems. Attendees learned basic Python and shell programming, version control, and debugging, all in the context of dealing with scientific data and working more efficiently and productively. The response to the bootcamp was overwhelmingly positive and participation was enthusiastic.