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»Data Carpentry« is non-profit organization that develops and provides data skills training to researchers.
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    Now that Software and Data Carpentry have merged, we wanted a new logo to celebrate our coming together as the Carpentries, and to give that project its own distinct identity.

    So ... here is our new logo!

    The new logo retains a ‘Carpentry’ feel - at the basic level, it represents a wrench around a hexagonal bolt. Yet it also conveys a sense of exhilaration and celebration - that magic moment when you ‘get’ something and your arms shoot up in celebration. There are many such ‘aha!’ moments in Carpentries’ workshops, so it is fitting that our logo represent not just the hard work of learning (the wrench) but the satisfaction of achievement and mastery that we gain (the ‘Yay!’).

    The same, but different

    While we have a new logo, and one that we like very much, as far as our community goes, much of what we do will seem unchanged.

    As The Carpentries, we will continue to teach foundational computational and data skills to researchers. We will continue to observe and evolve our Code of Conduct. We will continue to grow our memberships, and we will continue to mint new instructors through our Instructor Training program.

    The individual ‘Carpentries’ will remain as distinct lesson organizations, and we plan to communicate more as the year goes on about how these projects are evolving. The Software and Data Carpentry logos will remain the same, with The Carpentries an umbrella under which they come together.

    Some things are different. Tracy Teal is now our Executive Director, our two staffs have merged with some reshuffling of roles, and we are working as The Carpentries with a new fiscal sponsor, Community Initiatives. Our governance has merged - from having two separate Steering Committees, we now have a brand new Executive Council.

    These changes should only enhance what we do by streamlining communications and making our working practices more efficient. We will still support the growth and spread of our community - that will never change.

    CarpentryCon 2018 in Dublin will be a celebration of just how far we have come as a community. We hope to see you there.

    Keep an eye out for our new website soon!

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    We are excited to announce that we have received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to train researchers in essential data skills and build a general framework for collaborative lesson development to scale data training. This grant will allow us to create general infrastructure, guidelines and pathways for community engagement to establish open source lesson development as a practice and enable scalable, collaborative data training. Curriculum developed through this grant will include economics, image analysis and chemistry. This work will be a proving ground for the establishment of infrastructure and processes for collaborative and open lesson development in other domains and topics.

    There is increasing awareness of the need for data skills training across a diversity of domains. Necessary core data skills include: data organization and cleaning, exploratory analysis (generating simple summaries and graphs) and data management (sharing, storage).These skills require competency with common file formats, data types, command line tools and the programming languages used by researchers within a particular domain. As different universities and organizations begin to see the need to teach these skills, there is an opportunity to work together to build curriculum, rather than each organization developing their own content in isolation. There is great power in the community perspective, both in what is essential to teach and in the development of materials, and also in the continued re-teaching and re-use of the same materials. This works to improve the content over time and helps keep it relevant and up-to-date. To be maximally effective, these training materials should be accessible, discoverable, and follow best practices derived from educational research.

    The Carpentries are at the forefront of this kind of curriculum development, dissemination and teaching strategy. Our curricula are developed collaboratively, are freely available (CC-BY licensed) and are delivered by hundreds of trained volunteer instructors around the world each year. As we have built up our reputation for offering quality trainings, many communities have approached us to help develop and disseminate new content in digital humanities, astronomy, social sciences, library sciences, imaging, economics, chemistry, statistics, high performance computing, meteorology and neuroimaging.

    Because of this broad interest, there is a need to establish clearer process and infrastructure to scale this approach to lesson development. This project will build that infrastructure and develop processes that both engages the community and makes contributions more effective and straightforward.

    The Carpentries have hired Dr. François Michonneau to lead these curriculum development efforts. We’re excited to welcome François as our Curriculum Development Lead. He brings technical expertise, experience both in teaching and curriculum development, and an inclusive approach to lesson contributions and open source software development to the role. François is a long time Data and Software Carpentry community member. In 2014, as he was planning to teach a semester-long R programming course for the graduate students of the biology department at the University of Florida, he came across Software Carpentry. Intrigued by the pedagogical approach of these workshops, he wanted to experience it firsthand, and attended the inaugural Data Carpentry workshop there. Soon after, he became a certified Instructor, and has since taught a dozen workshops. He is also one of the developers and maintainers for the Data Carpentry R ecology lesson, and has helped organize the development of the Reproducible Science Curriculum lessons. This summer he certified as a a Carpentries Instructor Trainer.

    François received his PhD at the University of Florida studying marine biodiversity, where he documented the diversity of sea cucumbers, and in the process described a new species he named after the dog of the museum collection manager assistant (both are very fluffy). As a postdoctoral researcher at the Whitney Marine Laboratory, he synthesized marine biodiversity knowledge available from public databases and used data science approaches to identify knowledge gaps, and levels of digitization for the US marine invertebrate fauna.

    François is also the maintainer of several R packages centered around the manipulation of phylogenetic data and an active member of the rOpenSci community. He believes that open and reproducible science can transform the scientific process by generating robust results that can more easily be expanded on. He is excited to lead the growth of the curriculum taught by the Carpentries, so more people and more disciplines can learn the skills needed to conduct open and reproducible research. François is on twitter as @fmic_ on GitHub as fmichonneau, and his personal website is

    We are excited about this project and the opportunity to scale open, collaborative curriculum development in The Carpentries and provide frameworks and processes for training in the data science community as a whole. Please join us in welcoming Francois, as he works with the lesson infrastructure community on ideas for updates and in supporting the lesson development and maintainers community.

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    Valerie Aurora

    The Carpentries are excited to announce that Valerie Aurora will be one of four keynote speakers at this May’s CarpentryCon in Dublin.

    Valerie is a software engineer turned diversity and inclusion consultant.

    We want CarpentryCon 2018 to be a truly global, diverse and inclusive event, which is why we are so happy that Valerie has accepted our offer to speak there.

    Valerie founded Frame Shift Consulting, which helps technology organizations build in-house expertise and leadership in diversity and inclusion.

    Members of our community may know her as the creator and facilitator of Ally Skills Workshops, which teach simple, everyday ways for people who have more power and influence to support people with less. Valerie has taught these skills to thousands of people.

    In addition to keynoting, Valerie has offered to teach an Ally Skills Workshop at CarpentryCon. I am sure many of our community will scramble to attend that.

    She was a co-founder of the Ada Initiative, which, between 2011 and 2015, supported women in open technology and culture by producing codes of conduct and anti-harassment policies, advocating for gender diversity and teaching ally skills.

    Valerie also helped establish Double Union a non-profit which supports women and non-binary people in technology and the arts.

    She previously worked for more than 10 years as a Linux kernel and file systems developer at Red Hat, IBM, Intel, and other technology companies.

    Valerie is on Twitter.

    Register here for CarpentryCon 2018.

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    We just finished our second round of mentoring groups and had an amazing showcase of their work and ideas. In this round, we were more specific and focused on multiple topic areas. There were groups on community building, lesson maintenance, and preparing for instructor checkout.

    The feedback and outcomes were great! Participants were able to focus on specific goals, including teaching their first workshop and developing new lesson contribution material. Being a part of a group that addressed something important to them, (ex. developing communities in Japan and Singapore), made the mentoring groups powerful and enjoyable.

    Read about what community members have accomplished in these mentoring groups, find out how to get involved, or give feedback on how mentoring would be useful to you!

    The second round of the Carpentries mentoring groups began October 25, 2017. Goals of the revised mentoring groups were to offer curriculum-specific mentoring, and encourage groups to focus their efforts on lesson maintenance, teaching, organizing workshops, or building local communities. If you missed the wrap-up of the first round of mentoring, check out this blog post.

    Over a period of four months, 20 mentors and 39 mentees (a total 14 groups) representing eight time zones met either in-person or virtually to accomplish specific goals. Kari Jordan hosted a training session on November 9, 2017 to help mentors prepare for their first meeting, and to discuss goal setting. On November 28, 2017, mentors participated in a “power check-in” to discuss issues and any concerns they were having with their groups. These were mostly scheduling-related as we were nearing the holiday season.

    Results from the mid-program survey showed that several groups were working on projects to build local communities, and several group members were preparing to teach specific Carpentries lessons. Participants identified several resources that would improve their experience, such as a dedicated Slack channel, and more time to work with their groups. A mentoring Slack channel was created, and the program was extended from January 10, 2018 to February 6, 2018.

    The culmination of this mentoring period was the mentoring groups virtual showcase, which took place February 6, 2018. Two showcases to accommodate multiple time zones hosted a total of 25 attendees. During this time, mentoring group representatives presented PowerPoint slides showcasing either what they learned, or something cool they developed during their mentoring period. A lively discussion took place on the Etherpad, and several resources were added to the mentoring-groups repo on GitHub. Here are a few highlights from the showcase:

    • Kayleigh taught her first workshop as a qualified instructor at the first ever Library Carpentry workshop in Ethiopia.
    • Katrin completed the check-out process and onboarded as an r-novice-inflammation Maintainer.
    • One of the African mentoring groups emphasized the value of community in helping to get workshops organized.
    • A local data science community was started at the University of Konstanz, Germany.
    • Robin got to live demo an R lesson.
    • Blake’s workshop ran in January and got snowed in!
    • Chris developed a mentoring program plan.
    • Simon found out who to get in touch with, and will be an instructor at a Stanford workshop in March.
    • Toby contributed improvements to mentoring material on GitHub.
    • One group drafted step-by-step instructions for beginners to contribute to lessons using the terminal or a web browser.
    • Malvika contributed to the CarpentryCon taskforce and shared ideas with Kari for the next mentoring round.
    • One group used the evolving community ‘cookbook’ to plan activities in Japan and Singapore.

    Did you miss the showcase? Check out the recording from the second showcase!

    Why should you participate in mentoring?

    Both mentors and mentees received certificates for participating in their groups, and several group members plan to continue working together beyond this round of mentoring. Mentoring group participants were asked to tell the community why they should participate in mentoring. Here is what they said:

    • It gives you a direct and personal channel for questions and support.
    • You get to know other Carpentries colleagues from across the world at differing levels of experience.
    • You accomplish goals you probably wouldn’t have accomplished otherwise.
    • You learn new things and gain new perspectives.
    • You meet more community members.
    • It speeds up instructor checkout, and brings forward first teaching experience at a workshop.
    • You become more confident contributors and practice PR’s on lessons before submitting them to the main repo.
    • It’s very rewarding to help people with SWC material in an in-depth, one-on-one setting.
    • You never know what connections you will make!
    • You gain community connections and support to grow our collective abilities.
    • You get advice on organising workshops.
    • You get help when starting a community from scratch.
    • It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the Carpentries programs and to make connections with current instructors.
    • You receive positive feedback for running a workshop.

    Mentoring group meetup in Germany. Photo credit: G Zeller (EMBL Bio-IT)Mentoring group meetup in Germany. Photo credit: G Zeller (EMBL Bio-IT)

    Where do we go from here?

    The post-mentoring survey results showed that the major concerns during this period of mentoring were finding a schedule that fit everyone. Additionally, several participants suggested that a longer duration would be useful. Lastly, there were recommendations for open selection of mentoring groups.

    As a result of the feedback from this round of mentoring, and discussions among the mentoring subcommittee, we are in the process of developing the instructor discussion sessions such that they include ongoing mentoring for new instructors and experienced community members. Look for the next round of mentoring to begin this April!

    In the meantime, get involved with mentoring by requesting to join the mentoring Slack channel and/or attending the next Mentoring Subcommittee meeting.

    Are these things that would help you, or keep you engaged with the Carpentries? Tweet us your thoughts (@datacarpentry, @swcarpentry, @thecarpentries, @drkariljordan) using the hashtag #carpentriesmentoring.

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    This blog post is the second in a series examining the roles and contributions of the different parts of the Carpentry community. In case you missed it - read the first post in this series, about Maintainers.

    Carpentry Instructors are the core of our community. Without Instructors, there would be no workshops. Because of the vital role that Instructors play in advancing the Carpentry mission, we as a community take preparing Instructors very seriously. Before becoming certified Instructors, trainees must show familiarity with our curriculum, demonstrate their teaching skills (with a focus on the Carpentry pedagogical model), and interact with the broader Carpentry community. Software Carpentry Instructors also need to demonstrate familiarity with Git and GitHub.

    Since 2015, these goals have been served by a three-part checkout mechanism: Submitting a lesson contribution, Participating in an instructor discussion session, and Presenting a short teaching demonstration.

    These steps are estimated to take a total of 8-10 hours and are overseen by the Maintainers group, the Mentoring Subcommittee, and the Trainers group, respectively. These groups frequently discuss how to ensure that our checkout process is continuing to meet the needs of new Instructors as our community grows and changes.

    Recently, staff facilitated a set of discussions with the Mentoring Subcommittee, Maintainers, and Trainers, to understand whether there were reasons to remove one or more of the steps of the checkout process, and more broadly, to understand how members of these groups feel these steps are meeting Instructor’s needs. Getting input from each of these groups proved to be vital, as different parts of the community had different perspectives about these steps and how they affect Instructor preparation. Although the decision at this time was to maintain the current checkout process, there were many ideas raised about how we can change this process in the future to better align with the needs of new Instructors.

    The three topics raised for discussion were:

    • Removing the requirement for trainees to submit a lesson contribution. This was brought to the Maintainers and Trainers groups for discussion. Many voiced concerns that, without this requirement, new Instructors would not be prepared to contribute to lessons in the future. Other options to require trainees to use GitHub without increasing Maintainer workload were discussed. The decision was to make no changes to this requirement at this time, but to clearly communicate to trainees that rather than creating new issues or putting in unsolicited PRs, they can help by contributing to existing issues, reviewing existing PRs, and putting in PRs for requested issues. The Trainers group will work to better communicate this with new trainees. On the Maintainers side, there is work ongoing to update issue labels to help guide contributions.
    • Removing the requirement for trainees to participate in an instructor discussion before becoming Certified. This was brought to the Mentoring Subcommittee and the Trainers group for discussion. In both groups, people expressed concern that these discussions were necessary to prepare new Instructors to teach. The decision was not to change this requirement at this time, but to continue exploring other opportunities to provide mentorship for new Instructors.
    • Removing the requirement that trainees must complete their teaching demo with a Trainer who did not teach their instructor training. This policy was intended to avoid conflicts of interest by requiring that new Instructors were approved by Trainers outside of their institutions, however, it inadvertently disadvantaged new Instructors in geographic areas with fewer Trainers. The Trainers group passed this change with a vote of 22:1 with 1 abstaining. Trainers are still encouraged to identify any potential conflicts of interest.

    To summarize, although all three steps of the checkout process will remain the same for the time being (with the minor change that trainees will now be able to schedule their teaching demonstration with any Trainer), there have been many good ideas generated during this discussion process that will help us as we plan future revisions to continue to meet the needs of our community. If you’re interested in learning more about these conversations, read:

    Preparing new Instructors is an important job that is shared across our community. There are many ways you can be involved!

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    In mid-2017, Data Carpentry piloted a Curriculum Advisory Committee (CAC) for the Genomics curriculum. The goals for this committee were to provide general oversight, vision, and leadership for the full Genomics lesson stack, to ensure that the lessons stay up-to-date with existing best practices in the field, and to continue to serve the needs of genomics practitioners attending our workshops. Genomics Curriculum Advisors met after the initial Genomics lesson publication in November to discuss proposed structural and major topical changes to the lessons and will be helping the Genomics Maintainer team to make decisions about these changes as we prepare for a second release this year.

    Since first piloting the idea of a CAC, we’ve learned from our Maintainer community that this type of overall guidance is strongly desired by Maintainers for other lessons! Maintainers often face challenges trying to decide whether proposed large-scale changes are appropriate for their lessons. As Maintainers are usually not deeply familiar with other lessons in their curricular stack (and aren’t expected to be!), they often wonder how changes to their lesson will affect other lessons taught in the same workshop. Curriculum Advisors help to provide this higher-level oversight and take some of this burden away from the lesson Maintainers.

    Due to overwhelming enthusiasm from the Maintainer community, we are now recruiting for Curriculum Advisors for the Data Carpentry Ecology lessons and the Software Carpentry full lesson stack. Applications are open to all Carpentry community members. We strongly encourage applications from community members with current classroom teaching experience, university or college faculty and staff, and Maintainers for these lessons.

    Read more about the role of Curriculum Advisors.

    Apply to join the Data Carpentry Ecology Curriculum Advisory Committee

    Apply to join the Software Carpentry Curriculum Advisory Committee.

    Applications will be open through March 16th, 2018. Please contact Erin Becker ( with any questions.

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    The Carpentries are preparing to publish the Social Sciences and the Geospatial Data Carpentry curricula on Zenodo. The Social Science Lessons will be published in April, and the Geospatial Lessons in June. This will be the first publication for these lessons. We regularly publish our lessons (SWC, DC) to provide stable identifiers for polished versions of the lessons. This enables referenced discussions of the lesson materials and gives contributors a verifiable product to cite on their CVs or resumes.

    This release will include the following lessons:

    Geospatial Curriculum
    Social Science Curriculum

    Get involved!

    If you’ve made a contribution to one of these lessons, you’re already an author. Help make sure the final product is polished and complete by getting involved in the lesson release.

    We are organizing a Bug BBQ to prepare these lessons for release. The main goal for the Bug BBQ is to get the Geospatial and Social Science lessons ready for release. However, if you are a Maintainer for another lesson, and you are available and interested in getting some extra eyes on your lessons, let François know and we’ll include your repository on the Bug BBQ website.

    Bug BBQ details

    The Bug BBQ will start on April 12th, 2018 at 9am Eastern Time USA (1pm UTC) and end on April 13th, 2018 at 5pm Pacific Time USA (midnight on April 14th UTC). (Click on the links to see these times for your time zones)

    Join with the community in a hacky-day to submit Issues and PRs to identify and fix problems and get us ready to publish.

    We’ll provide communication channels for you to work with other community members and guidelines for how to get started.

    Keep an eye open for more information about the Bug BBQ!

    We’re excited to work with the community to release these lessons. Put these dates on your calendar, and we’ll send out reminders and updates too. These lessons belong to the community - help keep them great!

    What’s a Bug BBQ?

    During a Bug BBQ, the community gathers online to squash and grill as many bugs as possible to make our lessons polished and ready to be officially released.

    This is a distributed event, so you don’t have to go anywhere. We’ll use GitHub, Slack, and a website to get organized. If you are part of a local Carpentries community with several people interested in taking part in the Bug BBQ, feel free to organize a real BBQ to feed the crowd. If you plan on getting together, let us know by opening an issue! We’ll add you to the website so other people can join you.

    How long should I attend?

    The Bug BBQ lasts almost 36 hours to accommodate working hours across the globe. We are a global community and we want everyone to have a chance to participate. Feel free to participate for as little or as long as you want. However, note that contributions made when sleep deprived are rarely the best ones.

    If you are a Maintainer, please coordinate with the other Maintainers for your lesson to be ready to review, and provide feedback on the issues and pull requests that you will receive during the Bug BBQ.

    Who is the Bug BBQ for?

    Everyone is welcome to participate even if you are not familiar with the content of the lessons. We need your help to find typos, issues with formatting, help new contributors submit pull requests, answer general questions, review suggested changes, and more!

    If you have questions, please contact François.

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    The Carpentries are dedicated to developing and empowering a diverse community of data enthusiasts. Whether you are an Instructor, learner, Maintainer, Mentor, Trainer, Executive Council member, Champion, or member of our Staff, you belong to this community. We are committed to creating avenues for you to contribute that are welcoming and inclusive, whether in-person or online.

    Our Code of Conduct (CoC) serves a vital role in this commitment, as it outlines our commitment to provide a welcoming and supportive environment to all people regardless of who you are, or where you come from. Our CoC outlines very detailed reporting guidelines and an enforcement policy, so that, should violations occur, members of our community can rest assured that their concerns are being handled appropriately and in a timely manner.

    The CoC was last updated in 2016. To read more about how these documents were developed, see this blog post. In a recent review however, we realized that we needed to increase the transparency of how the Code of Conduct Committee handles Code of Conduct incident reports, update wording that would discourage reporting incidents and update how we handle urgent situations. We’re consulting with Sage Sharp of Otter Tech Diversity and Inclusion Consulting to address these issues and make appropriate updates.

    In revisiting the CoC, we now also have openings for the Code of Conduct Committee, and are looking for committee members who are passionate about equity and inclusion to serve on this committee. The Carpentries Code of Conduct Committee manages all responses to reports of conduct violations, and advises the Executive Council on the need to alter any of the policies under its purview.

    As this committee deals with complex issues including ethics, confidentiality, and conflict resolution, upon appointment, members of the committee will receive incident response training from Otter Tech.

    Be a part of a committee that ensures that our community continues to thrive on diversity of thought and perspective. Complete this application to apply to serve. The deadline for applications is Monday, March 19 at 1100 UTC.

    Should you have questions about the Code of Conduct, or want clarification on the roles and responsibilities of this committee, please contact the CoC committee.

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  • 03/11/18--17:00: Mentoring Groups are Back!
  • In February, we held our mentoring groups virtual showcase, and community members engaged with mentors and mentees virtually to hear about the accomplishments they made over the course of their mentoring experience. Not only were mentees able to finish their instructor checkout tasks and contribute to the CarpentryCon taskforce, mentors started local communities and reconnected with community members globally.

    You’ve expressed to us and each other the benefits these mentoring groups have had on your growth in and outside of the Carpentries. You are building powerful, and meaningful connections by developing peer communities. Because of that, we want to continue to support these groups, and give more community members the opportunity to join, either as a mentor, or a mentee.

    The next round of mentoring groups will run from April 9th to August 13th. Get a head start on joining a mentoring group by attending one of two upcoming information sessions (to suit different time zones). Sessions will be held on March 15th at 11:30 UTC and 20:30 UTC. Sign up to attend either session on this etherpad.

    Applications for both mentors and mentees are now open, and due by March 23rd. Mentor applications are open to instructors who have taught at least two workshops. Mentee applications are open to instructors who have taught less than two workshops. If you’d like to serve as a mentor, please complete the mentor application. If you’d like to be a mentee, please complete the mentee application.

    Many mentor/mentee relationships extend well beyond the program time. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect, learn, and grow with community members. Join a mentoring group!

    Tweet us your thoughts (@datacarpentry, @swcarpentry, @thecarpentries, @drkariljordan) using the hashtag #carpentriesmentoring.

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  • 03/13/18--17:00: Welcome to New Trainers
  • We are excited to welcome seventeen newly badged Trainers to our community. The group recently finished their program with Karen Word and are now certified to teach new Carpentry Instructors.

    Join us in welcoming Tania Allard, Anne C. Axel, Mik Black, Murray Cadzow, Mesfin Diro, Caroline Fadeke Ajilogba, Anne Fouilloux, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Claire Hardgrove, Toby Hodges, SherAaron Hurt, Senzo Mpungose, David Perez-Suarez, Juliane Schneider, Nicholas Tierney, Jessica Upani, Elizabeth Williams.

    This was a very widely distributed group, so congratulations to the group and to Karen for making the training work across a challenging number of time zones.

    Instructor training in New Zealand will get a boost with the addition of Mik and Murray. Adding Claire and Nicholas has doubled Trainer numbers in Australia. Expansion of Carpentries activity throughout Africa will accelerate with the addition of new Trainers Caroline, Senzo, Mesfin, and Jessica. Senzo and Caroline have already co-instructed with Erin Becker and Martin Dreyer at this workshop. The revival of the African Task Force should also spark an uptick in activity across the African continent. Alejandra, David, and Tania will also help build our Spanish language representation as we expand into Central and South America.

    We look forward to many upcoming opportunities to teach with our new Trainer cohort!