Years ago, I lost my temper while arguing with my brother, and said, "Jeff, I could teach you everything I know and you'd still be an idiot." Please keep that in mind as you read this site.

Recent posts

Designing a New Novice Python Lesson

Last November, I volunteered to pull together a new full-day lesson on Python suitable for people with no previous programming experience. It has taken longe...
April 10, 2016

For Some Value of ‘Just’

One of the cardinal rules of Software Carpentry is never say 'just', because it signals the listener that the speaker thinks their problem is trivial....
April 09, 2016

Trying to Find a Form

I have been thinking (again) about what to teach in a full-length course on Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, which has led me, meta begettin...
April 08, 2016

Zen and the Art of Assignment Operators

I was 19 when I first read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. For months afterward, I just had to tell everyone I knew about Quality-with-a-ca...
April 01, 2016


Every technology that solves problems creates new ones, most of which can't be solved by purely technological means. Online discussions (including Twi...
March 31, 2016