A computational approach


Teaching: 10 min
Exercises: 20 min
  • Why take an automated or computational approach?

  • Understand the main lessons of why you might automate your work.

Why take an automated or computational approach?

Otherwise known as the ‘why not do it manually?’ question. There are plenty of times when manual work is the easiest, fastest and most efficient approach. Here are two conditions that should make you consider using automation:

Main lessons:

Why automate?

Automation refers to a process or procedure that runs with little to no supervision or action. Libraries have been automating workflows for years and many of the Library Carpentry lessons can help people in libraries consider and implement automation approaches to further those efforts. You may often receive reports that you have to manually format or bibliographies where you have to clean metadata. If this sounds familiar, the tools and approaches introduced in Library Carpentry will help you automate and spend less time on these activities.

Is it worth the time

‘Is it worth the time?’ by Randall Munroe available at https://xkcd.com/1205/ under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

Is there something you would like to automate in your work?

Discuss in groups of four to six or altogether and note your discussion in the workshop collaborative document.

Key Points

  • The main lessons of why you might automate or take a computational approach can help guide you as you consider whether to automate or not.