### Mid-week update of Week 2 as an intern at Enthought, India

I've been formally assigned to work on the new Data Import Tool add-on to Canopy. I used to think that it is similar to the data-toolbox in Matlab or R but having tried out the Canopy add-on, I can say that it is very different. Well, I don't know if I can get into the details as to how it's different from the others so I'll postpone that for another time. Otherwise, it's been a steep learning curve and it's a bit hard to climb at times. I guess i'll just have to keep climbing up even if i roll back down a bit.

Enough meta stuff. Let me now tell you about two interesting things I learnt about git.

I wish someone had told me about "$git stash". Say I have a working code. Say I am making corrections/improvements to the working code. Now say that my prof calls me up and asks me to run some data through the working code, without the changes. Now, because I don't want to throw away the changes I'm making, I can *stash* them away using git. Git will create save all the changes in a *location* and remove them from your working directory. Eventually, when youre done working and want to apply the changes back to the directory, all you need to do is "$ git stash apply". That link explains it better than I do, I'm sure, but I had to try.

I also learnt how to branch repositories and how to submit pull requests having made changes/additions/corrections. So, there are two ways. Note that my workflow is based around code hosted on GitHub. The first would be fork the repository into your account, work on it, update it and then submit a pull request having made the changes. Note that the changed code is residing in a clone of the original repository on your account. The second would be to create a branch of the repository, work on the branch, push to the branch and then submit a pull request. In this case, the code resides in a branch of the original repository. The first half of this article explains branching that I was talking about. Don't use merge if you want people to review your pull request/the changes you've made to the code.

I think I'll stop here for now. There are a bunch of other things that I learnt but am not able to put together into something concrete. I'll leave that for the next time. Until then ...

### Animation using GNUPlot

Animation using GNUPlotI've been trying to create an animation depicting a quasar spectrum moving across the 5 SDSS pass bands with respect to redshift. It is important to visualise what emission lines are moving in and out of bands to be able to understand the color-redshift plots and the changes in it.
I've tried doing this using the animate function in matplotlib, python but i wasn't able to make it work - meaning i worked on it for a couple of days and then i gave up, not having found solutions for my problems on the internet.
And then i came across this site, where the gunn-peterson trough and the lyman alpha forest have been depicted - in a beautiful manner. And this got me interested in using js and d3 to do the animations and make it dynamic - using sliders etc.
In the meanwhile, i thought i'd look up and see if there was a way to create animations in gnuplot and whoopdedoo, what do i find but nirvana!

In the image, you see 5 static curves and one dynam…

### on MOOCs.

For those of you who don't know, MOOC stands for Massively Open Online Course.

The internet is an awesome thing. It's making education free for all. Well, mostly free. But it's surprising at the width and depth of courses being offered online. And it looks like they are also having an impact on students, especially those from universities that are not top ranked. Students in all parts of the world can now get a first class education experience, thanks to courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.

I'm talking about MOOCs because one of my new year resolutions is to take online courses, atleast 2 per semester (6 months). And I've chosen the following two courses on edX - Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server and Data Science Essentials for now. I looked at courses on Coursera but I couldn't find any which was worthy and free. There are a lot more MOOC providers out there but let's start here. And I feel like the two courses are relevant to where I …

### On programmers.

I just watched this brilliant keynote today. It's a commentary on Programmers and the software development industry/ecosystem as a whole.

I am not going to give you a tl;dr version of the talk because it is a talk that I believe everyone should watch, that everyone should learn from. Instead, I am going to give my own parallel-ish views on programmers and programming.
As pointed out in the talk, there are mythical creatures in the software development industry who are revered as gods. Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python, was given the title Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL). People flock around the creators of popular languages or libraries. They are god-like to most programmers and are treated like gods. By which, I mean to say, we assume they don't have flaws. That they are infallible. That they are perfect.
And alongside this belief in the infallibility of these Gods, we believe that they were born programmers. That programming is something that people are born wit…