B Learning Objectives
This appendix lists the learning objectives for each chapter, and is intended to help instructors who want to use this curriculum.
B.1 Getting Started
- Identify the few standard files that should be present in every research software project.
- Explain the typical directory structure used in small and medium-sized data analysis projects.
- Download the required data.
- Install the required software.
B.2 The Basics of the Unix Shell
- Explain how the shell relates to the keyboard, the screen, the operating system, and users’ programs.
- Explain when and why a command-line interface should be used instead of graphical user interfaces.
- Explain the steps in the shell’s read-evaluate-print loop.
- Identify the command, options, and filenames in a command-line call.
- Explain the similarities and differences between files and directories.
- Translate an absolute path into a relative path and vice versa.
- Construct absolute and relative paths that identify files and directories.
- Delete, copy, and move files and directories.
B.3 Building Tools with the Unix Shell
- Redirect a command’s output to a file.
- Use redirection to process a file instead of keyboard input.
- Construct pipelines with two or more stages.
- Explain Unix’s “small pieces, loosely joined” philosophy.
- Write a loop that applies one or more commands separately to each file in a set of files.
- Trace the values taken on by a loop variable during execution of the loop.
- Explain the difference between a variable’s name and its value.
- Demonstrate how to see recently executed commands.
- Re-run recently executed commands without retyping them.
B.4 Going Further with the Unix Shell
- Write a shell script that uses command-line arguments.
- Create pipelines that include shell scripts as well as built-in commands.
- Create and use variables in shell scripts with correct quoting.
grepto select lines from text files that match simple patterns.
findto find files whose names match simple patterns.
- Edit the
.bashrcfile to change default shell variables.
- Create aliases for commonly used commands.
B.5 Building Command-Line Tools with Python
- Explain the benefits of writing Python programs that can be executed at the command line.
- Create a command-line Python program that respects Unix shell conventions for reading input and writing output.
- Use the
argparselibrary to handle command-line arguments in a program.
- Explain how to tell if a module is being run directly or being loaded by another program.
- Write docstrings for programs and functions.
- Explain the difference between optional arguments and positional arguments.
- Create a module that contains functions used by multiple programs and import that module.
B.6 Using Git at the Command Line
- Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using Git at the command line.
- Demonstrate how to configure Git on a new computer.
- Create a local Git repository at the command line.
- Demonstrate the modify-add-commit cycle for one or more files.
- Synchronize a local repository with a remote repository.
- Explain what the
HEADof a repository is and demonstrate how to use it in commands.
- Identify and use Git commit identifiers.
- Demonstrate how to compare revisions to files in a repository.
- Restore old versions of files in a repository.
- Explain how to use
.gitignoreto ignore files and identify files that are being ignored.
B.7 Going Further with Git
- Explain why branches are useful.
- Demonstrate how to create a branch, make changes on that branch, and merge those changes back into the original branch.
- Explain what conflicts are and demonstrate how to resolve them.
- Explain what is meant by a branch-per-feature workflow.
- Define the terms fork, clone, remote, and pull request.
- Demonstrate how to fork a repository and submit a pull request to the original repository.
B.8 Working in Teams
- Explain how a project lead can be a good ally.
- Explain the purpose of a Code of Conduct and add one to a project.
- Explain why every project should include a license and add one to a project.
- Describe different kinds of licenses for software and written material.
- Explain what an issue tracking system does and what it should be used for.
- Describe what a well-written issue should contain.
- Explain how to label issues to manage work.
- Submit an issue to a project.
- Describe common approaches to prioritizing tasks.
- Describe some common-sense rules for running meetings.
- Explain why every project should include contribution guidelines and add some to a project.
- Explain how to handle conflict between project participants.
B.9 Automating Analyses with Make
- Explain what a build manager is and how they aid reproducible research.
- Name and describe the three parts of a build rule.
- Write a Makefile that re-runs a multi-stage data analysis.
- Explain and trace how Make chooses an order in which to execute rules.
- Explain what phony targets are and define a phony target.
- Explain what automatic variables are and identify three commonly used automatic variables.
- Write Make rules that use automatic variables.
- Explain why and how to write pattern rules in a Makefile.
- Write Make rules that use patterns.
- Define variables in a Makefile explicitly and by using functions.
- Make a self-documenting Makefile.
B.10 Configuring Programs
B.11 Testing Software
- Explain three different goals for testing software.
- Add assertions to a program to check that it is operating correctly.
- Write and run unit tests using
- Determine the coverage of those tests and identify untested portions of code.
- Explain continuous integration and implement it using Travis CI.
- Describe and contrast test-driven development and checking-driven development.
B.12 Handling Errors
- Explain how to use exceptions to signal and handle errors in programs.
exceptblocks to raise and catch exceptions.
- Explain what is meant by “throw low, catch high.”
- Describe the most common built-in exception types in Python and how they relate to each other.
- Explain what makes a useful error message.
- Create and use a lookup table for common error messages.
- Explain the advantages of using a logging framework rather than
- Describe the five standard logging levels and explain what each should be used for.
- Create, configure, and use a simple logger.
B.13 Tracking Provenance
- Explain what a DOI is and how to get one.
- Explain what an ORCID is and get one.
- Describe the FAIR Principles and determine whether a dataset conforms to them.
- Explain where to archive small, medium, and large datasets.
- Describe good practices for archiving analysis code and determine whether a report conforms to them.
- Explain the difference between reproducibility and inspectability.
B.14 Creating Packages with Python
- Create a Python package using
- Create and use a virtual environment to manage Python package installations.
- Install a Python package using
- Distribute that package via TestPyPI.
- Write a README file for a Python package.
- Use Sphinx to create and preview documentation for a package.
- Explain where and how to obtain a DOI for a software release.
- Describe some academic journals that publish software papers.