So how did the workshop go? I thought it went a bit better than the first day, but, hey, I’m a bit biased. To get a better idea I sent the participants a similar questionnaire to the one I sent to the Software Carpentry workshop I organised before. Nearly all the participants (95%) agreed with the statement “I enjoyed the Software Carpentry workshop” which is great, but I guess the aim is to help people change how they use computers to do research.
Today I’ve been instructing on a Software Carpentry workshop at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford; it’s the first time I’ve been lead instructor on a bootcamp. Today Kwasi Kwakwa and myself covered the shell and basic python; more python, then git and SQL tomorrow. So what went well? I was very pleased to find we had no installation issues, even though everyone had brought their own laptop and so we had a mixture of Macs, Windows and the odd Linux machine! I had four USB sticks with the Anaconda etc installers and we didn’t use a single one so the standard installation instructions must be working.
In October 2012 I organised a Software Carpentry Boot Camp at the University of Oxford. I’ve previously posted the feedback I gathered immediately before and after the boot camp, but thought it would be interesting to see if all that enthusiasm actually translated into deeds i.e. did the attendees actually change how they worked as result of the boot camp? So almost exactly a year after the boot camp I sent around a similar survey to the attendees. Inevitably some email addresses were now invalid so I only received responses from 13 of the attendees (as compared to 25 immediately after the workshop). To encourage responses, I only asked three questions and two of these followed on from questions I had previously asked. So what did I find out?
I’ve written a post for the Software Sustainability Institute (who kindly provided the instructors for our boot camp) describing my top tips for hosting a Software Carpentry Boot Camp.
As well as asking the attendees how they thought the workshop had gone, I sent them a questionnaire before the workshop. The idea was to see what their expectations were and if the workshop then met them. For example we asked “How would you describe your expertise in the following tools?” and the results are on the right. Overall most people didn’t feel they knew much about the tools we had identified as being potentially most useful. We also asked “What you would like the workshop to cover?” and the answers indicated these tools were relevant (results not shown).