Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Feedback from Johns Hopkins

Today we wrapped up our 2-day bootcamp at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. We had a pretty small group of about 12 each day (out of 20 signed up). In a really pleasant surprise we had students come from Brooklyn, NY and Virginia, plus two students who commuted up from Sigma Space in Lanham, MD. Overall feedback seemed quite positive:

Good Bad
  • advanced bash (find, pipes)
  • git and GitHub are cool
  • all the bootcamp material is online (at GitHub)
  • intro to Python
  • free
  • intro to shell
  • saw some advanced Python
  • testing/debugging
  • branching in git
  • bootcamp was local
  • examples relevant to scientists
  • watching how someone else works
  • we covered everything we planned (from Matt)
  • show/use more IPython features (from someone who already uses it)
  • shell went too slow, Python went too fast
  • projector small/dim (+fonts small)
  • had to take time off work (about half said they would have come on the weekend.)
  • would like domain specific Python examples
  • would like a third day (majority would have come for another day)
  • hard if you miss the first day
  • want more NumPy, SciPy, etc.
  • get left behind if you make a mistake
  • don't see complexity when writing examples from scratch, could provide some pre-written code
  • more step-by-step instructions online
  • wanted to see professional workflow with IPython notebook (from Josh)
  • could use pre-class surveys to tailor lessons

Big thanks to the other instructors Joshua, Sasha, and Mike!

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