Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

An Easy Place to Start: Systems Programming

As a follow-up to recent posts on how to contribute, what better looks like, and Elango Cheran's secure shell episode, here's a specific request: we would like three episodes on systems programming, by which we mean writing programs to:

  • manipulate files and directories (chdir, stat, etc.)
  • working with archives (tar, zip, etc.)
  • run other programs (the subprocess module in all its fearsome glory)

A typical use case is writing a Python script to run a compiled legacy application a few hundred times for slightly different parameter values, putting each run's output in a separate directory that's created on the fly, and so on. If you're interested, please get in touch — it's easier than you think.

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