Data Carpentry: Intro to Python

University of California, Santa Barbara


Oct 19-22, 2021

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Instructors: Greg Janee, Isaac Park, Ian Lessing

Helpers: Jean Allen, Melanie Leung, Jon Jablonski, Kristi Liu, Amanda Ho

Registration for this workshop opens on Friday, September 17 at 8:00am PST

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General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: Oct 19-22, 2021. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must have access to a computer with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are dedicated to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the instructors in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

We will use this collaborative document for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Setup Download files required for the lesson
00:00 1. Before we start What is Python and why should I learn it?
00:30 2. Short Introduction to Programming in Python How do I program in Python?
How can I represent my data in Python?
01:05 3. Starting With Data How can I import data in Python?
What is Pandas?
Why should I use Pandas to work with data?
02:05 4. Indexing, Slicing and Subsetting DataFrames in Python How can I access specific data within my data set?
How can Python and Pandas help me to analyse my data?
03:05 5. Data Types and Formats What types of data can be contained in a DataFrame?
Why is the data type important?
03:50 6. Combining DataFrames with Pandas Can I work with data from multiple sources?
How can I combine data from different data sets?
04:35 7. Data Workflows and Automation Can I automate operations in Python?
What are functions and why should I use them?
06:05 8. Making Plots With plotnine How can I visualize data in Python?
What is ‘grammar of graphics’?
07:35 9. Data Ingest and Visualization - Matplotlib and Pandas What other tools can I use to create plots apart from ggplot?
Why should I use Python to create plots?
09:20 10. Accessing SQLite Databases Using Python and Pandas What if my data are stored in an SQL database? Can I manage them with Python?
How can I write data from Python to be used with SQL?
10:05 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need to install the software listed below.

You can download the data used for the workshop here. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.

Install the videoconferencing client

If you haven't used Zoom before, go to the official website to download and install the Zoom client for your computer.

Set up your workspace

Like other Carpentries workshops, you will be learning by "coding along" with the Instructors. To do this, you will need to have both the window for the tool you will be learning about (a terminal, RStudio, your web browser, etc..) and the window for the Zoom video conference client open. In order to see both at once, we recommend using one of the following set up options:

This blog post includes detailed information on how to set up your screen to follow along during the workshop.

The setup instructions for the Data Carpentry Ecology workshops (with Python) can be found at the workshop overview site.