Regarding (Ana)conda and your building environment

I would like to make a small note regarding the Anaconda3 installation you guys are asking us students to do.

Based on the many topics I’ve worked through so far, I think it’s safe to assume that many students are either relatively new developers or people with little OS background knowledge. Many students appear to be using company-provided laptops or computers, or their private equipment.

I would sincerely ask you to expand chapter 0 a bit. It feels unpleasant to me that you’re asking students to fill their own (or worse, their employer’s) equipment with a big dump of additional tooling. Instead, it would be much safer for them to create a separate VM (similar to M103 and M301) that has all the tools on board. Personally, I did not want to sully my host OS with all those Anaconda tools, so I’ve just plunked everything into a separate VM. I feel that this would be a better solution for many students (despite perhaps taxing their CPU and RAM a bit more).

Thoughts?

Hi Tess_Sluijter,

Thanks for the suggestion!

The reasons for using Anaconda instead of VM is because VM is more complex and it takes upto 2GB of memory for one single VM.

You might have noticed more issues on VM than on the content of the course. As we are creating more and more courses, we intend to improve the user experience.

Let me know if anyone also thinks the same!

Kanika

I don’t disagree with you.

Instead of providing a VM for the students I would add a disclaimer or warning to chapter 0. It is a good idea to earn them that they are going to be installing hundreds of megabytes and dozens of packages, which may interfere with their system’s normal operations.

You would expect it to be common sense not to use production systems for a training course, but I have a hunch that many students here in fact DO use companies’ production hardware.

Nice idea to add a disclaimer!

But many students are using ondemand courses which are offered by their company itself. So thats why they are doing from their office machines. So, it seems to be a bad idea to add something like “Do not use production environment or your office machine for this course”.

And I am not aware if Anaconda is interfering with system’s normal operations.

Kanika

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HI,
Let me contribute to your conversation.
If someone is working with python on data analysis, 70%-90% (s)he has conda installed (anaconda is huge and unnecessary, but miniconda is best choice for data analysis). And as I remember, there is an instruction how to use any other python IDE.
There should not be any interference with installed software, because students are instructed to create and download to virtual python environment.
So VM is a personal choice, which could be as an option but not a requirement.

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Thanks for your input Yuri!

I will readily admit that I’m not a developer at all, thus I’m not familiar with how Python devs usually setup their boxen. I’m a server and security engineer, which is why I usually reason "the less you install on your trusted host, the better".

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