Software Carpentry: Automation and Make

Software Carpentry's mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing.

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Make is a tool which can run commands to read files, process these files in some way, and write out the processed files. For example, in software development, Make is used to compile source code into executable programs or libraries. But, Make can also be used to:

  • run analysis scripts on raw data files to get data files that summarize the raw data;
  • run visualization scripts on data files to produce plots; and to
  • parse and combine text files and plots to create papers.

Make is called a build tool - it builds data files, plots, papers, programs or libraries. It can also update existing files if desired. Make tracks the dependencies between the files it creates and the files used to create these. If one of the original files (e.g. a data file) is changed, then Make knows to recreate, or update, the files that depend upon this file (e.g. a plot).

The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers from UiO and OUS, and tailored towards those with very little to no experience in the subjects taught.


If you are interested in other Carpentry@UiO workshops, please visit

Published Jan. 5, 2018 4:55 PM - Last modified Feb. 26, 2018 12:27 PM