Software Carpentry

Helping scientists make better software since 1997

How I’m Doing

I wasn’t happy with the two courses I taught this past winter — too many distractions, too little preparation.  The feedback on the Software Carpentry course was therefore a pleasant surprise: I’ve heard second-hand that several of the Computer Science grad students were disappointed by its slow pace, but overall I did better than I expected.  On a 1-5 scale:

  • Background required to successfully complete the course: 2.0
  • How easy to obtain details/background to supplement lecture material: 2.0
  • Did term work increase understanding: 3.7
  • Material was presented too slow/fast: 2.0
  • Material was too broad/specialized: 2.9
  • Workload was too light/heavy: 2.9
  • How well organized was the lecturer: 4.0 (no idea whose class they were in…)
  • How satisfied: 4.5
  • Overall rating: 4.2

The most common positive comments were that the course was practical and pragmatic, and that the collaborative projects were worthwhile.  Negatives include the assignment being distributed and marked very late, not enough examples of what good programs actually look like, the course being slow for CS students, a lack of depth in some areas (particularly security), and my jokes being corny.


Written by Greg Wilson

2007/08/07 at 12:14

Posted in Toronto, Version 3

3 Responses

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  1. Greg let me sit in on this course (Software Carpentry, winter 07). I found his general comments/tips/stories that were injected into his lectures just a valuable then the lectures themselves.

    I’m not a CS student, but I run a software company so I put myself in the same category. The course did have a slow pace but you need to appreciate that this course likely contains the most diverse group of students at UofT. When is the last time that you got to do a project with someone in the forestry department?

    Thanks again Greg for a great course.

    Jamie McQuay

    2007/08/07 at 13:20

  2. Maybe a stupid question, but I was wondering what your scale means for questions like: “Material was presented too slow/fast: 2.0” what does this tell you? Is 2.5 perfect, with 5 too fast, and 0 too slow? Or is 5 perfect with anything less being “not right”?


    2007/08/13 at 01:11

  3. nevermind, I guess they’re supposed to circle which case is relevant to them.


    2007/08/13 at 01:13

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