Develop Software Skills with Collaborate Workshops

Illustration by Esther Liu | The Bottom Line

Annie Huang
Staff Writer

Collaborate of the College of Letters & Science have started hosting quarterly software workshops for the spring quarter. The workshops are held in the Social Sciences and Media Studies (SSMS) building every Wednesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a different application being taught each day.

For example, last week Collaborate offered workshops for LinkedIn and Microsoft Word, two necessary applications for any student looking to join the workforce. In upcoming weeks, Collaborate will be hosting workshops in programming through Python, RStudio, and Jupyter, image editing and graphic design with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, and budgeting and data management with Microsoft Excel.

Workshop Schedule:
Wed., May 1 – Python I
Thurs., May 2 – RStudio
Wed., May 8 – Python II
Thurs., May 9 – Jupyter Notebooks
Wed., May 15 Photoshop I (Editing a photo)
Thurs., May 16 Excel I (Basics and Budgeting)
Wed., May 22 Photoshop II (Designing with Photoshop)
Thurs., May 23 Excel II (Analysis)
Wed., May 29 Illustrator (Logo Design)
Thurs., May 30 Illustrator II (Designing for Merchandise/Apparel)

The workshops are beginner friendly, require no prior reservations, and are free of charge for all UCSB students. Due to limited seats in the lab, students are encouraged to arrive early in order to attend their desired workshop.

Collaborate workshops aim to give students access to in-person support while getting accustomed to the basic tool set of common applications that they may not get the chance to learn elsewhere.

For instance, if a student wanted to learn Python (the world’s fastest growing and one of the most popular coding languages) in a classroom setting, they would have to try to get into CMPSC8: Intro to Computer Science here at UCSB, which is limited to specific majors on top of having only a small class size. With Collaborate workshops, however, students can gain some basic scripting skills and knowledge of how to work the program’s user interface to kickstart learning on their own.

Likewise, R is used in the statistics class PSTAT10, but students who aren’t statistical science majors yet still interested in learning to use R to analyze their data can come in to the Collaborate workshops to get face-to-face instructions on how to use the program.

Furthermore, students can make their visual ideas come to life with Collaborate workshops on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, two of the most popular programs for image editing and graphic design. Learning the basics of Photoshop can give a student the tools to enhance their photos for social media, promotions, and infographics.

Learning Adobe Illustrator can give students the ability to design logos, stickers, and even t-shirts and apparel. Not only can these graphic design skills be taken advantage of for personal use, they can also help enhance and professionalize the image of a brand or organization that a student is passionate about.

Microsoft Excel’s spreadsheets also have a lot of capabilities that many students are not aware of, or simply do not know how to use. The Collaborate workshops aim to teach students how to budget with Excel, a skill that can help students see their financial activity transparently. A workshop will also be hosted for those who want to use Excel for research or other data management situations.

Collaborate workshops allow students to be exposed to and build a good foundation for the applications they want to learn so that students can have an easier time furthering their knowledge on their own. The applications of the workshops are versatile and beginner friendly, ensuring that anyone that participates will come out of it with a new, useful skill in technology that can be applied to their own life.

Illustration by Esther Liu


  1. … they would have to try to get into CMPSC8: Intro to Computer Science here at UCSB, which is limited to specific majors …

    CMPSC8 is open to all majors

    • Yes, you have to ask yourself the question, do you feel lucky enough to get a spot in CS8?

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