Introduction to Python - Software Carpentry
CQ University Australia

December 5-6, 2019

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Instructors: Jason Bell



To register – you must email Jason Bell ( to register for this event.

You must attend both days, unless otherwise confirmed with the instructor. With this training provided online using Zoom, places are very limited. With this in mind, if you register to attend and then don’t attend the full training, you may forfeit any other training provided by CQUniversity eResearch Support for the remaining of the year. Obviously, if there are extenuating circumstances, then they will be considered. If you cannot make this workshop, you will need to inform the trainers 48 hours prior to the start of the workshop.

General Information

Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover basic concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Best Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Virtual lesson taught over Zoom.

When: December 5-6, 2019. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below). on.

Code of Conduct: Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Contact: Please email for more information.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1

(Introduction to Programming with Python)

Before Pre-workshop survey
09:00 Running and Quitting
09:15 Variables and Assignment
9:50 Data Types and Type Conversion
10:30 Morning break
10:45 Built-in Functions and Help
11:30 Libraries
12:30 Lunch break
13:15 Reading Tabular Data into DataFrames
14:00 Pandas DataFrames
14:45 Afternoon break
15:00 Plotting
16:00 Wrap-up
16:30 END

Day 2

(Intermediate to Advanced Programming in Python)

09:00 Lists
09:45 For-Loops
10:30 Morning break
10:45 Looping Over Data Sets
11:30 Variable Scope
12:15 Lunch break
13:00 Conditionals
13:45 Writing Functions
14:45 Afternoon break
15:00 Programming Style
15:45 Wrap-up
16:15 Feedback
16:15 Post-workshop Survey
16:30 END


Programming in Python

  • Using libraries
  • Working with arrays
  • Reading and plotting data
  • Creating and using functions
  • Loops and conditionals
  • Defensive programming
  • Using Python from the command line
  • Reference...

Lesson Details: Python Programming

Lessons online :

Setup information:

Please note that we will not using Jupyter notebook, instead we will be using the “spyder” interactive development environment, as it is more user friendly and already come as part of an anaconda installation.


To participate in a Software Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.


Python is a popular language for research computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its research packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend Anaconda, an all-in-one installer.

Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., 3.6 is fine).

We will teach Python using the Jupyter notebook, a programming environment that runs in a web browser. For this to work you will need a reasonably up-to-date browser. The current versions of the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers are all supported (some older browsers, including Internet Explorer version 9 and below, are not).

  1. Open with your web browser.
  2. Download the Python 3 installer for Linux.
    (The installation requires using the shell. If you aren't comfortable doing the installation yourself stop here and request help at the workshop.)
  3. Open a terminal window.
  4. Type
    bash Anaconda3-
    and then press Tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear. If it does not, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file, for example with:
    cd Downloads
    Then, try again.
  5. Press Return. You will follow the text-only prompts. To move through the text, press Spacebar. Type yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the default location for the files. Type yes and press enter to prepend Anaconda to your PATH (this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).
  6. Close the terminal window.

Additonal setup information can be found at