The latest in our series of interviews with Software Carpentry sponsors is with Microsoft's David Rich.
Tell us a bit about your organization and its goals.
Microsoft has very recently expanded the group working on HPC (clusters and similar) to address a broader "technical computing" solution set. This includes areas such as parallel programming, and making it easier for scientists and engineers to apply computational power to their work.
Tell us a bit about the software your group uses.
As a software vendor, we are concerned with both our own products and the myriad of applications that form the full solution set for our customers.
Tell us a bit about what software your group develops.
We build tools for others, but also use them ourselves!
How are you hoping Software Carpentry will help?
Today, there are few disciplines (any?) where some form of computer based analysis or at least reporting is not an important part of success. Few individuals have the time to become expert in computer science as well as their primary field. A course participant might be a grad student looking at their first large dataset or an experienced scientist in industry who wishes to improve their efficiency.
How do you hope the course will help them?
Professional chefs keep their knives sharp. Musicians take care of their instruments. We hope that software carpentry students learn to think of their software and computing resources as a primary tool and develop the habit of thinking about how to use that tool more efficiently.
How will you tell what impact the course has had?
All world problems solved by a huge increase in productivity! Or if not that, students who report increased efficiency in their work.