I’ve helped out or taught at a handful of Software Carpentry (SWC) workshops over the past year, and every time, I felt that students were forgetting about Git as soon as they walked out of the room at the end of the second day. There always seems to be a general confusion that cannot be dispelled during the Git lessons. While this may be partially caused by inexperienced instructors, I would argue that it can mostly be attributed to the current lesson material, referred to here as the Planets lesson. Not only does it not properly demonstrate Git’s usefulness in a real-world scenario, but it fails to engage the audience, which is especially crucial for teaching something as unintuitive as Git. My typical workshop audience are academic researchers, and I’m pretty sure they don’t give a shit about Wolfman’s and Dracula’s thoughts on Mars, which is the Planets lesson narrative. To be clear, I mean no offense to the lesson designers and maintainers, whose work I fully appreciate; I just think there’s much room for improvement.
Dear Wet Lab People,
As a computational biologist, I wish you disturbed us at our workstations with the same caution and reluctance you have towards disturbing other wet lab people doing bench work. I have a little theory that you subconsciously extrapolate that your downtime is when you’re at the computer to dry lab members. Let me remind you that this is not the case.