These are chat archives for weaverbel/LibraryCarpentry

Apr 2017
Richard Vankoningsveld
Apr 01 2017 08:27

Some thoughts on the Python lesson. Based on me not having done an LC lesson, but done one SWC Python lesson, and being a Python script kiddie. OOP is still somewhat of a mystery to me.

Automate the boring stuff over website building is fine, the question would be which boring stuff?

I don't think pandas is a good place to start for learning python generally - it might be fine for SWC but for librarians I think it's too specific. OpenRefine is probably a lot more useful for libs working with tabular data.

The concept of a basic lesson and then specific lesson on things like scraping is good. And you do need a basic lesson before you do something specific like that I think.

With Python I think it's kind of different to the other lessons, because it's so open ended. With Python you'd basically be teaching how to program, which then could be applied to lots of different scenarios. Instead of teaching a product, like OpenRefine for example.

I think there is a good opportunity with Python to think about teaching programming concepts as well as 'how to do stuff'. This would be of benefit because it's transferable. If you used Python as a vehicle to teach stuff like variables, loops, conditionals, etc etc you're giving people a grounding to go off and do whatever they want, e.g. shell scripting, JS, Ruby etc etc.

Owen Stephens
Apr 01 2017 14:07
@laufers that definitely looks like a better intro than the numpty based lesson. However it looks like it is a whole day (?) rather than the usual half day for SWC. That makes sense to me - a full day prob needed to introduce programming from scratch
@richyvk pretty much agree with all that! :)
@richyvk picking the right 'boring stuff' is definitely a challenge - in my experience a lot of the stuff you deal with in real life is driven by the systems you are forced to use at work
Owen Stephens
Apr 01 2017 14:14
@richyvk since often web based systems one option would be automating a system with a web based interface - so interacting with web ui or rest api
@richyvk but I may be guilty of just assuming everyone else has similar problems to me!
Ryan Johnson
Apr 01 2017 16:19
I wouldn't say pandas is more specific than OpenRefine. The two also can work well together in a sort of pipeline. I do agree that general things like interacting with APIs is broad enough to appeal to most people.