About Matthew Bourque

Feb 8, 2015 • Matthew Bourque

Matthew Bourque is Data Analyst at Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland where he works on detector calibrations and characterizations for the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument on Hubble Space Telescope, as well as maintains an extensive filesystem and database for all on-orbit WFC3 data. He received a B.S. in Astronomy/Astrophysics from the Florida Institue of Technology in 2011 and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Computer Science at Towson University. Matthew’s interests primarily lie in scientific computing, but he is also a big supporter of open source and collaborative programming. Matthew is excited to develop teaching skills and learn best practices that will help him spread programming knowledge and skills to others in various analytical fields.

What I found hardest about using Git for the first time was the fact that a branch is snapshot of the entire repository rather than a separate set of physical files. Learning Git as a SVN user, it was a bit difficult to understand that a particular file can exist in several different states, yet be stored in the same location within the repository. As a result, I often found myself accidentally modifying files under the incorrect branch.

I have now been using Git and Github for a little over two years and now have a good understanding of the Git model. However, most of my work on Git/Github has been in an individual effort, so working on remote repositories with other collaborators is a new avenue for me.