Carpentry Clippings, 15 August, 2018 

Highlights from the Carpentries Community Calendar

Come Along to the Next Mentoring Committee Meeting
Mentoring Committee meetings are open to everyone, so why not attend as a ‘one-off’ to tell us how we can better support and develop our Carpentries instructor community? We currently manage the Mentoring Groups program and instructor discussion sessions but what else could we do, or should we do? Please let us know. Our next meeting will take place on 20 August at 13:00 (check local time) and 22:00 UTC (check local time - this will be 21 August in some parts of the world). Add your name to the list of attendees on the etherpad. If you can’t attend either meeting, you are welcome to leave your suggestions on the etherpad. The meeting will include a short intro to the Mentoring Groups program.

Carpentry Champions Call

Block out an hour in your calendar at 20:00 (8pm) UTC on 18 September so you can attend the next Carpentries Champions call. Champions are people who want to create, build and empower local communities. Share your community building ideas or pick the brains of others, many of whom have contributed to our Carpentries Community Cookbook. Sign up on this etherpad which also has the meeting connection details. Please note: this will be the morning of 19 September for some people in the southern hemisphere, so please check the local time and date.

Community News

Vision and Mission for The Carpentries: Request for Comment Opens

We want your feedback! The Carpentries Executive Council has been working on developing new draft statements of both mission and vision for the merged organisation. These drafts have been extensively discussed in Council and are now available here for our community to comment on. We have two separate Requests for Comment (RFCs) - one for mission, one for vision. We would like your feedback by Friday, 31 August, 2018.  Read more.

Quarterly Update on our Programs
We published the first of our programmatic reports, which bring our community up to date on our global activities such as workshops and instructor trainings, in May, 2018. These reports will appear quarterly from now on. During the past three months, we ran our first workshop in Pakistan, and workshops run in Ethiopia ticked over to more than ten. We also did some analyses of applications for instructor training received since we opened up our application process in July 2016. Read more.

New England Libraries Team Up to Become Carpentries Members
The New England Software Carpentry Library Consortium (NESCLiC) ecompasses seven academic libraries: Yale, Harvard, Tufts, Dartmouth, UMass Amherst, Brown, and Mt. Holyoke. NESCLiC shares the costs and benefits that go along with Gold Tier Carpentries membership, and allows staff from the different areas of academic librarianship and technology, including the digital humanities, statistics, high performance computing, sciences, engineering, medical libraries, and data services, to work together on Carpentries initiatives in their libraries. Read more.

Mentoring Groups Wrap But Applications Re-Open
During the Mentoring Groups Virtual Showcase, community members from South Africa, Germany, Canada, the United States, and France were inspired by the presentations mentors and mentees gave. Mentor Victoria Dominguez Del Angel said: "We see really the power of communities. We have arrived with empty pockets and we have gone back with full pockets." This round is complete, but applications are open for the next round of mentoring! You can apply to be a mentor or a mentee. Instructors who have taught at least two workshops are eligible to serve as mentors. Mentee applications are open to instructors who have taught fewer than two workshops. You can be mentored on a range of things: getting through the checkout process, contributing to lessons, organising workshops, or building a local community. You decide. Applications for both roles close on Friday, 31 August. Get yours in today!

Put Yourself Out There ... as a Mentor

We have 14 instructors showing up on our new Mentors page. This page showcases people who have run at least one mentoring group. Like the new pages for InstructorsTrainers and Maintainers, the Mentors page lists only those who have consented to have their profile appear publicly. If you have served as a Mentor and your details do not appear, but you want to be listed, please update your Instructor profile in AMY and agree to make your profile public. If this has no result, please email our team who will sort it out for you.

Committee and Task Force Activity

Time for a New Name?
Mentoring Committee Co-Chair Toby Hodges has opened an issue about renaming the committee to better reflect its purpose, which is helping new instructors build skills and confidence in teaching and organising workshops. The frontrunner so far is the Instructor Development Committee. What do you think works best? Have your say. This will also be discussed at the upcoming meeting. Find meeting details on the etherpad.

Software Carpentry Curriculum Advisory Committee
At its recent meeting, the group agreed to better document the differences between the current R and Python lesson offerings, and to develop a content rubric to help Instructors choose which lesson would work best for their learners. Members agreed to adopt a different ‘story’ for the Git lesson and to stick with teaching Git via the command line rather than switching to a graphical user interface. See the meeting minutes for more.

What you may have missed on the blog or mailing lists

“What constitutes a Software Carpentry workshop?” has come up again on Discuss. Jason Moore asked why we no longer seem to have a set curriculum that encompasses “version control, shell, relational databases, and a programming language intro’’. According to Lex Nederbragt, the Executive Council have been discussing this and will seek community feedback on this issue shortly.

Greg Wilson asked for views on how people track data provenance, and got almost a dozen replies. People interested in that thread may also like the much longer thread on data versioning that recently attracted a score of replies.  Tiffany Timbers got some useful advice about version control for SQL databases in this thread.

Something of interest to most of our community would be the question about platforms for reproducible science raised by Sumana Harihareswara in this thread.

And in case you missed it, François Michonneau recently released his Vision and Plans for Curriculum Development with The Carpentries on the blog. Comments most decidedly welcome!

Tweet of the Week

Paula Martinez celebrates an open instructor training to help build Carpentries capacity across Latin America. 


Jonah Duckles will be a plenary speaker on ‘Building, Growing and Sustaining Global Collaborative Communities’ at the joint conference of the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) and Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG), to be held from 25 August to 1 September in New Zealand. The conference theme is ‘Collections & Data in an Uncertain World’. Are you going? Add your details to our meetups page.

Tracy Teal will be at JupyterCon in New York on 24-26 August, where she will deliver a Keynote Address on ‘Democratizing Data’ on Friday 24 August.  Are you going? Add your details to our meetups page.

Toolshed (Posts from our Past)

Rayna Harris ponders the question “What is the reward for empowering others?” in this Software Carpentry blog post from May 2017. She writes: “For many of us, Software Carpentry is where we hear most clearly that our teaching really is valued.” See the post for other rewards. It would be useful to revisit this thread, so please email Belinda Weaver if you have ideas.

Papers & manuscripts from and for the community

Community job postings

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