RSE@SUN Data Carpentry

AgroInformatics Initiative, Stellenbosch University

Jun 27-30, 2022

9:30 am - 2:00 pm SAST

Instructors: Kim Martin, Jannetta Steyn, Mpilo Khumalo

Helpers: Jan Greyling

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: AgroInformatics Hub, JS Marais Building, Victoria St, Stellenbosch, South Africa 7602. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Jun 27-30, 2022. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop 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.

Who can attend?: This workshop is being provided by RSE@SUN for researchers (postgrads, postdocs, staff) in the AgriScience Faculty of Stellenbosch University; applicants from other Faculties will be placed on the waitlist. Apply via this form (please be sure to be logged in to your Stellenbosch University Microsoft account).

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.


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

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey


Day 1 - Mon 27th

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
9:30 am Tabular data, intro to OpenRefine
11:00 am Break (20 min)
11:20 am OpenRefine (filtering, sorting)
12:10 pm Lunch (50 min)
1:00 pm OpenRefine (cleaning, exporting)
2:00 pm End

Day 2 - Tues 28th

9:30 am RStudio, datatypes, subsetting
11:00 am Break (20 min)
11:20 am CSV files, data frames, factors
12:10 pm Lunch (50 min)
1:00 pm Reshaping, analyzing data (tidyverse)
2:00 pm End

Day 3 - Wed 29th

9:30 am Tidyverse continued
11:00 am Break (20 min)
11:20 am Visualizing data (ggplot2)
12:10 pm Lunch (50 min)
1:00 pm Control flow, dbplyr (SQL databases)?
2:00 pm End

Day 4 - Thurs 30th

9:30 am Git fundamentals, creating repos (GUI)
11:00 am Break (20 min)
11:20 am Working with repos (GUI), getting organized
12:10 pm Lunch (50 min)
1:00 pm Pull requests (GUI), project management, websites?
2:00 pm End


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to software as described below. 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.

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

In addition to the instructions at the above link, please also register for a GitHub account, and install GitHub Desktop for Windows/Mac or Linux.