I’m trying to add some new tools to my toolbox this year. Here’s what I’m thinking about:

  • Jekyll: used for this GitHub Pages blog among other things. Actually I’m not sure I really want tinker with Jekyll, I just want it to work.
  • Markdown: again used for this blog, but also used just for GitHub stuff in general. Although I didn’t realize it until recently, I first used Markdown on Ravelry!
  • Git/GitHub – I already use these but think I can get more fluent.
  • Astropy – I have dabbled with some of the astropy modules, but hope to make it part of my regular workflow, and maybe even to make some contributions.
  • Pandas – have also used this a little bit, but I think there’s a lot more that can be done with it. Maybe not so much for astronomy, but I think it could be really useful for analyzing data related to teaching once that starts again.
  • bash – as a long-time IRAF user I was tied to the C-shell. But now that I have moved away from IRAF and even PyRAF, I might as well switch to bash. Should make teaching it as part of Software Carpentry easier.
  • R – well, maybe. I keep hearing about how powerful and also how unplesant to use it is. Hmm.
  • GIS – I want to figure out how to keep better track of global and local properties of (things within) nearby galaxies. Maybe geographers have some tricks we can borrow for astronomy.

As usual there’s the conflict between “ooh! shiny new tool!” and “it’s just a means to an end”. We’ll see how the year goes.