Carpentry Clippings, 10 October 2017


Highlights from the Software and Data Carpentry Community Calendar

Community News

Carpentry for Latin America

The Carpentries, the National Node of Bioinformatics Mexico (NNB) and the Ibero-American Society of Bioinformatics (SoIBio) have launched a joint project called Carpentry for Latin America. People are most welcome to participate. There are a range of activities people can join - translating lessons into Spanish, reviewing lessons, hosting discussion sessions, and more. There is a Google Group for discussions and a GitHub repo for shared materials. Find out more.

Comments on The Carpentries Merger

We received a wide range of comments about the upcoming merger of Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry during the commenting period that ended on 6 October. Community feedback on our plans is very important, so thank you to everyone who made the time to have a say. You can read people's contributions in the merger GitHub repository.

Community Call: Assessment

Assessment will be the topic of our October 19 community call (there are two times: 2pm and 11pm UTC). During this call, we will discuss a number of things: the results of our long-term survey, whether we should include skills-based questions in our surveys, issues around collecting demographic information from our learners, and our thoughts on a recent PNAS paper that claims bootcamps don’t work. You do not want to miss this community call! Sign up to attend via the etherpad.


Subcommittee Activity  

Lesson Maintenance

Christina Koch has provided a really useful summary of the latest community calls about lessons. The calls demystified what lesson maintainers do (how they wrangle issues and pull requests) and what benefits they get from doing the job. While managing small changes was no issue for maintainers, how to manage larger changes, e.g., deciding whether to ditch large chunks of material, or to go off in a whole new direction, was seen as more problematical. We still have some way to go in better rewarding and recognising our maintainers, though the calls turned up some good ideas for that.



Round two of the Carpentries’ Mentoring Program will begin on 25 October. This small group program links new instructors with more experienced members of our community. Kari Jordan will host information sessions on 12 October at 06:00 UTC and 21:00 UTC. Sign up to attend either information session on the etherpad. Potential mentors can apply for the program here and aspiring mentees should use this form to apply. The deadline for applications is 18 October.


We received a number of excellent bids to host the 2018 CarpentryCon event. The bids were discussed at the last meeting of the CarpentryCon task force on 5 October and we hope to announce the chosen venue soon. Head on over to our GitHub repository for minutes, our plans for the event, and more. Even better, nominate an inspiring speaker.

Applications Open for New Trainers

We have just opened up applications for Instructors who would like to train as Trainers (the people who run instructor training). While all applications are welcome, we are especially interested in recruiting Trainers who can work in Latin America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. To help boost the Carpentry in Latin America project, we would also welcome applications from potential new Trainers who are fluent in Spanish. Training is very rewarding, and Trainers meet monthly to discuss issues and to support and learn from each other.





Jonah Duckles will be hosting another webinar on 10 October at noon UTC for people who might have questions about how their institutions can join Software and Data Carpentry. Check out our membership page, or just bring your questions to the webinar. See your local time for the webinar. You can sign up on the webinars’ etherpad, which lists further webinar dates and times if you can’t make this one.


What you may have missed on the blog and mailing lists

Reproducibility in 30 minutes?

Laura Fortunato started a thread on the Discuss list about teaching novices core concepts around research computing and research producibility in a short time. She got some constructive suggestions, including this great tip from Bianca Peterson, and this dip into the mail archives.

How Long is too Long to Wait?

A long thread on lesson maintenance and the timeliness of pull request merges was started on Discuss and then was moved across to the Maintainers list (where it logically belongs). There is still time to have a say, either by emailing the Maintainers list or through GitHub for those not subscribed to the list.


By the Numbers

During September, 16 Software Carpentry workshops were taught, more than one every two days. Since they are generally two-day workshops, this addsup to more than ‘A-Carpentry-A-Day’. Well done, everyone! See the full list online.

Greg Talks

Greg Wilson presented a talk on “Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing” to the BioData Club.


Tracy Teal spoke about the work of Data Carpentry at the Alternative Avenues for Development of Data Science Education Capacity webinar on 22 September.

Papers & manuscripts from the community

Ten simple rules in considering a career in academia versus government’ by Philip E. Bourne, PLoS Comput Biol 13(10): e1005729.


Community Job Postings

  • Product Manager NeSI, Auckland, New Zealand. Applications close 19 October.
  • Research Scientist, Australian Wine Institute, Adelaide, Australia. Applications close 27 October.
  • Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Applications close 22 October.
Other places to connect
If you can't get enough Software and Data Carpentry, here are some other places to connect with our community. Have something you’d like to have included in our next newsletter? Please send items to
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list