Software Carpentry

ARCHER, the UK's national supercomputing service offers training in software development and high-performance computing to scientists and researchers across the UK. As part of our training service we are running a 2 day Software Carpentry workshop in collaboration with the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI). This event will be held at EPCC, Edinburgh, on 16-17 February 2016.

Software Sustainability Institute and SoftWare carpentry Logos


Software Carpentry workshops help researchers become more productive by teaching software development skills that enable more to be done, in less time, and with less pain. We will cover skills including version control, task automation, good programming practice and relational databases. These are skills that, in an ideal world, researchers would master before tackling anything with "cloud" or "peta" or "HPC" in their name, skills that enable researchers to optimise their time and provide them with a secure basis to optimise and parallelise their code.

Intended learning outcomes

On completing this course, attendees should be familiar with the concepts of:

  • Version control
  • Task automation
  • Good programming practice
  • Basics of Databases using SQL


To attend, you must have some experience of writing code or scripts and be familiar with programming concepts including conditionals, loops, arrays and functions. You should also be comfortable with using the bash shell. For an introduction to the shell, please see, for example Software Carpentry's lessons on The Unix Shell. You will also need to bring a laptop with software needed for the workshop installed, please see the workshop page for details.


* * * Provisional - Timetable may be subject to change * * *

Day 1

    • 09:00 Introduction and software set-up
    • 10:00 Version control with Git
    • 10:30 Coffee break
    • 11:00 Version control with Git
    • 13:00 Lunch break
    • 14:00 Automating tasks with Make
    • 15:00 Coffee break
    • 15:30 Automating tasks with Make
    • 17:00 Close

    Day 2

    • 09:00 Programming in Python
    • 10:30 Coffee break
    • 11:00 Programming in Python
    • 12:00 Lunch break
    • 13:00 Databases and SQL
    • 14:30 Coffee break
    • 15:00 Databases and SQL
    • 16:00 Best practices for scientific computing
    • 17:00 Close

    Course Materials

    Slides and exercise material for this course are available here.

    During the course information may be shared between tutors and participants using the course hackpad.


    The course will be held at EPCC, Edinburgh


    Please use the registration page to register for ARCHER courses.


    If you have any questions please contact the ARCHER Helpdesk.