Software Carpentry - Learn To Program
Written by Mike James   
Saturday, 08 September 2012

Software Carpentry is a learning resource that hasn't had much coverage. Yet it provides high quality video lectures that cover core programming and computing topics.

Software Carpentry is a learning resource that just doesn't seem to be getting the coverage of the high profile providers such as Udacity, edX and Coursera. Yet it provides high quality video lectures that cover core programming and computing topics.

The stated aim of the project is to educate scientists in computer use. The argument is that most scientists have to get involved in using a computer to do their analysis at some point and, because they aren't trained properly, they end up in a life and death struggle to make the machine do what they want. Or less dramatically, they simply end up wasting a lot of time.

Software Carpentry aims to fix the problem with video lecturers on a very wide range or topics.


You can discover what the aims are in this 90-second video, but don't get too worried about the emphasis on scientists. If you take a look at the lecture videos. then you will discover that while they might be aimed at scientists, they are perfectly general accounts of the topics covered.


There are lots of courses but the ones that are most relevant to programming are

What is interesting about the Software Carpentry approach is that they are not as academic as the alternatives. These are videos on topics that are relevant to the working programmer rather than a computer science course. If this is what you are looking for then try some of the videos.

They also don't provided timed lecture courses complete with exams and certificates. That is, the resources are all about self study at your own pace - but this doesn't mean that they couldn't be used as the basis for a course - or a MOOC.

The courses come with pdf notes and Powerpoint presentations so that you can study away from the video lectures.

What is even more surprising, is that all of the materials are freely available under a Creative Commons license. This means you can not only use them for your own purposes but edit and remix them. The project is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Mozilla, but lots of other well known entities have provided support in the past.

Software Carpentry also runs, and encourages others to run, "boot camps" based on their material - see the website for more details.

This seems like a great project and well worth both using and supporting.



More Information

Software Carpentry


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