In the planning phase of organizing a Software Carpentry workshop for my home department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry I started to wonder what participants want to learn. I designed a short survey to answer this question, and from my small department, ~20% (30 people) filled it in. Here's what they said:
(As with most good things in life, the code for these plots can be found on Github.)
I also asked survey participants to comment on any other computer programming and/or data science topics they would be interested in learning about. Here's what people said:
- Circos plot!!!
- VBA (any level)
- Processing of strings as in sequencing data would be useful
- Reproducible Research and experimental planning, ensuring that experiments are
- well-designed, valid, reproducible and well-documented.
- Data visualization, both static and interactive
- S plus
- Software to create nice figures and charts
My takeaway from this survey that that people (well, at least Molecular Biologists and Biochemists) are most interested in learning R or Python (and not Matlab) and that we are on track with the level of focus for these workshops: the majority of people are interested in a workshop for novices.
Disclaimer: This is a small survey (N = 30) and from a single discipline. I would be very interested to hear and/or find out if these findings differ across disciplines and/or geography.