Why and how we are involved with The Carpentries?

Why we are involved with The Carpentries

3362772863_55b9809c4c_z.jpgThe Carpentries share our vision of helping researchers learn to develop software that contributes to correct, reproducible and reusable research. We also want to help researchers grow confidence in developing research software and further self-guided learning to write code, teach them the benefits of open development, sharing and collaborating with a community as well as best practices in openness, crediting, citing and developing research software.

As an official partner of The Carpentries, we coordinate Carpentry activities in the UK and help organise and run workshops for the UK research community, nurture and grow UK community by training and on-boarding new instructors and members, as well as bringing in new partnering institutions and supporting them in establishing the Carpentry programmes locally and helping researchers bring Carpentries to their institution, community or collaboration (e.g. through the work of our Fellows).

When did it all start

We became involved with (then Software) Carpentry in 2011 by developing online lectures in advanced shell tricks and systems programming in Python. In April 2012, we participated in the first general UK workshop, led by the Software Carpentry's creator, Greg Wilson, at the University College London. A fortnight later, in conjunction with the Digital Institute at the Newcastle University and SoundSoftware, we delivered the first workshop to be run entirely by UK tutors, independent of Greg Wilson's team. We have since instructed upon the majority of workshops run in the UK as well as helped to deliver workshops in Europe, the USA and online. We also wrote a comprehensive guide on how to run workshops. In February 2013, we volunteered to coordinate (then Software) Carpentry activities in the UK. In early 2015, soon after the set up of the Organisational Membership scheme, we became a Software Carpentry Foundation Partner (which has now moved to The Carpentries).

"We are pleased to have the Software Sustainability Institute take over coordination of UK workshops. The Institute shares many goals and values with Software Carpentry, and we believe this partnership will benefit both organisations." - Greg Wilson, Founder of Software Carpentry and the (then) Executive Director of the Software Carpentry Foundation.

The Institute organised our first Data Carpentry workshop in the UK in November 2014 at the University of Manchester.

What we offer

We provide advice and consultancy on the organisation and running of workshops for training researchers as well as run instructor training for people to become certified Carpentry instructors. This includes helping to recruit instructors and helpers for workshops from the UK's (or international) pool of volunteers, advising on publicity and providing support in all aspects of organising, or hosting, a workshop. For more on workshops please see:

Several Institute's staff members are also certified Carpentry instructors with extensive experience in teaching at workshops and helping set them up and run them on site. The Institute also runs Carpentry instructor training programme in the UK, to help train more certified Carpentry instructors for scaling training up and welcome them to the community.

The Institute also provides help and guidance to institutions on becoming partners with The Carpentries in their own right and managing their individual partnership trajectories.

For more information about our collaboration with The Carpentries or organising a Carpentry workshop in the UK, email us at info@software.ac.uk