Plotting and Programming in Python



Sept 22-23, 2020

9:00am - 1:00pm

Instructors: Richard Dean, Shane Sturrock, Christina Straub, Jing Wang, Janet Stacey

Helpers: Bridget Armstrong, Leah Kemp

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 for programming and plotting in python. 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".

This course is aimed at ESR staff, who would like to get an introduction to working with python. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of python to attend this course.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: Sept 22-23, 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: You will not need to install any programs (python or Jupyter Notebooks) prior to the course. Participants should work on their ESR laptop to have access to our server version of JupyterLab. At the beginning of the course we will log on together and you will get an introduction on how and why to use Jupyter Notebooks.

Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email for more information.

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.


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

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Morning 1

Before Pre-workshop survey
09:00 Intro
09:20 Variables
09:40 Data Types and Type Conversion
10:00 Built-in functions and help
10:25 Coffee Break
10:40 Libraries
11:00 Reading Tabular Data into DataFrames
11:20 Pandas dataframes
11:50 Plotting
12:30 Recap and Questions
13:00 END

Morning 2

09:00 Lists
09:20 For Loops
09:55 Conditionals
10:20 Looping over datasets
10:30 Coffee Break
10:40 Functions
11:05 Variable scope
11:30 Programming style
12:15 Wrap-up and questions
After Post-workshop survey
13:00 END


Programming in Python

  • Using Libraries
  • Working with Arrays
  • Reading and Plotting Data
  • Creating and Using Functions
  • Loops and Conditionals
  • Defensive Programming
  • Glossary...


For this workshop, we will be using ESR's jupyterhub - please refer to the email that you have received regarding log in instructions.

The videoconferencing client

We will be using Microsoft Teams for the workshop. All further infos will be provided in the Microsoft Teams channel that you will be invited to prior to the workshop (Monday 21), so you can have a read through and familiarize yourself with the setup before the workshop.

Set up your workspace

Like other Carpentries workshops, you will be learning by "coding along" with the Instructors. To do this, you will need to have both the webbrowser for jupyterhub and a window for Microsoft Teams open. In order to see both at once, we recommend using one of the following set up options:

This blog post includes detailed information on how to set up your screen to follow along during the workshop.