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broncnado

Best Software/Programming Language/Website for a Student to learn

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I'm currently a metr. undergrad student and I have a pretty slow job at an office on campus. Usually this is fine because I can get homework done, but over the summer I'm looking for something to learn!

 

Are there any big programming languages or software I should be familiar with before entering the field? If not, maybe there are some good modules or places to learn meteorology related topics online?

 

I'm thinking about learning more with Matlab or maybe some webpage design, but I'm looking for any other advice!

 

Thanks

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Imo get familiar with gempack and matlab. :-) also do as much as you can with the comet modules. Start with basic skew t mods then work your way through the tougher areas like frontogenesis etc.

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FORTRAN (if you're not taking it in school already), python, UNIX shell scripting, HTML, anything GIS

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For software langugages, I will second MATLAB, Python, UNIX/LINUX shell scripting, FORTRAN, and anything GIS related. You might also consider Java since that is the underlying architecture of AWIPS2.

All of these languages/skills have specific uses. FORTRAN is good for numerical weather prediction and some research applications. MATLAB is also used in research (formal and ad hoc). UNIX/LINUX is very important since most meteorological applications are designed on those systems, not much Mac/Windows at this time nor in the foreseeable future. Python has applications in nearly any field and is quite flexible, I've found.

 

Also remember, no matter what language you study the important thing is to learn as much as you can. Software languages all do roughly the same thing, make it easier for a person to tell a computer what to do. If you learn one language really well, you can pick up other languages as needed and fairly quickly. The main differences are syntax.

 

COMET/MetED is another great website with abundant training modules for a variety of skills. I would also suggest looking at resources from the NWS Warning Decision Training Branch (http://www.wdtb.noaa.gov). They have some excellent training courses available to partners and the public. If you complete training modules, keep a list of the completion dates and scores (where applicable) to include on your resume.

 

Good luck!

 

--Kevin

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Based on my experience, I'd say Python and MATLAB. All are useful (FORTRAN, IDL, Unix scripting, etc) but those two seem very widely used and desired. Python seems to be becoming increasingly popular and sought after. 

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If you're considering a NWS career, I'd suggest Python (GFE), Linux /Java (AWIPS2), and all the GIS/DHTML (DSS, social media) you can take.  

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If your into modeling, then FORTRAN. Otherwise, get used to using a Linux system and choose two of the following:

Python

Matlab

GIS (Preferably ESRI, then QGIS)

Java

HTML/CSS/Javascript

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I know I'm in the minority but I'm constantly converting people's Matlab code into C or C++ so that it can run in a timely manner and without a ton of computing overhead.  It's my personal favorite if I had to choose.   That said I use Java for certain things, Perl/Python/Bash for integration tasks, HTML/Javascript too... short answer is if you want to code you need to be able to do it all because you'll encounter it all at some point.  I wouldn't recommend studying Fortran but as others point out you'll definitely come across it here and there with the amount of legacy code out there, and you'll just have to deal with it when you do.

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For our model center site, we run GEMPAK scripts written in bash to generate the image files and upload to our web servers. Then write the website in HTML/PHP/Javascript (jQuery) for presentation.

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