A couple years ago, while I was in physics graduate school, I found out about an organization called Software Carpentry. My advisor sent me a Nature article about poor software practices in science and it quoted Greg Wilson, the founder of Software Carpentry. Around the same time, I also heard that Software Carpentry was running an online class to teach scientists software skills. I signed up and really enjoyed the class -- which covered Python, shell, version control, object oriented programming, regular expressions, testing, and databases.
I didn't know many people interested in software at grad school, so it was nice to be able to discuss these topics with the Software Carpentry instructors. I remember learning some nice Python tricks from Greg.
Since then, I've sporadically kept in touch with Greg. A couple months ago, he told me that he was running an onsite (offline) Software Carpentry bootcamp near me at UMass Amherst and asked me if I'd like to volunteer to help. I agreed and it turned out to be a fun and illuminating experience.
I had many thoughts about my experience at the boot camp and Greg Wilson, the founder of Software Carpentry, asked me to share my thoughts as a blog post.
You can see my roughly 2000 word blog post here on the Software Carpentry website.