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Hi Greg and Adina!

Two days ago I filled out the Software Carpentry survey which asked me, among other things, how much time I had saved using my new Software Carpentry skills. I filled out the I had not really saved that many hours yet (but that I was approaching computational problems in a different way and began implementing version control!).

However, that number of hours changed dramatically later that evening! In preparation for a talk I will give at a conference in a few weeks I was re-doing some analyses. I came to one which was very painful to me because it required using 3 different python scripts for several different files and repeating this for a range of numbers (so we're talking running 3 scripts about 20 times). I did not find this particular analysis very useful or informative, but it really makes my supervisor happy so I thought I should at least try to be a silver (or bronze) student and give it a whirl.

I started to do this analysis the way I had previously done it, by using the script at the command line, figuring out where the files were that I wanted and then waiting for each manipulation to finish before starting the next one. BUT then I realized that you folks had taught me a different way! I made a bash script to use these 3 scripts together and then I even made it successfully loop through all the range of values! I saved so much time (hours at least on this one analysis and lots of mental anguish), have a clear record of what was done and feel so excited to automate more of the complex analysis I'm doing. I feel like I am looking at these problems differently and it is starting to seem a bit clearer! So a huge THANK YOU! I am also going to discuss at my next lab meeting some of the concepts we discussed in the workshop!

Sincerely,

Julia (PhD candidate, University of British Columbia)

Originally posted at Software Carpentry.

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