Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Feedback at UKMO

I've just finished teaching a four-day version of the course at the UK Met Office in Exeter. I think it went reasonably well, even if we did version control last instead of first :-). Here's the feedback the students gave me:

Good

  • Most of what the instructor told us was probably true!
  • Liked the emphasis on the human aspects of software development
  • Liked the emphasis on evidence-based software engineering
  • Lots of details on how to do testing
  • Liked it when the instructor went off on tangents
  • Liked having pointers to more material
  • Instructor enthusiastic
  • Lots of stuff on course web site
  • Enjoyed learning a new language
  • Finally had someone explain why to make code readable
  • Nice mix of concepts and details
  • Modular course design allowed me to catch up when I got lost

Bad

  • No overall roadmap or guide
  • Some (many?) parts too fast
  • Didn't have access to the code the instructor was writing "live"
  • Instructor went off on too many tangents
  • The links the instructor mentioned aren't collected anywhere
  • There weren't any tea breaks on the first two days (tiring)
  • Need citations for claims that "studies show"
  • Some people left behind in some parts
  • Squeezing it into a week made some parts indigestible
  • Had to learn a new language
  • Don't know where to go next with Python
  • The first two days felt rushed
  • Some of the examples could have been better fits for this audience

ASSESSMENT · UK MET OFFICE

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