Carpentries partnership to provide software and data analysis training

September 6, 2017
Amy E. Hodge

Stanford Libraries has dramatically improved our ability to bring software and data analysis training to graduate students and post-docs on Stanford’s campus by signing on for a one-year partnership with the Software Carpentry Foundation

We’ve been hosting Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry workshops on campus for 3.5 years (read about our first workshop, our summer of workshops, and our collaboration with CEHG), but this partnership will enable us to reach more students and post-docs, as well as helping us build more local capacity for supporting these workshops in the future.

About the Carpentries

The “Carpentries,” as they are commonly called, provide instruction in two formats. Software Carpentry focus on computing best practices by teaching version control, task automation, and modular programming. Data Carpentry focuses on domain-specific training that covers the full lifecycle of data-driven research and focuses more on learners with little to no computational experience. Both of these two-day courses are delivered in a hands-on format with short tutorials that alternate with practical exercises, and all instruction is done via live coding.

Our goal in partnering with Carpentries is to further the teaching and research missions of Stanford by meeting the high unmet demand on campus for instruction in research computing best practices. Faculty who have co-sponsored these events with the Libraries in the past have found them to be an efficient and productive way of providing much-needed instruction for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. “The demand for these workshops is high,” said Professor Miriam Goodman, “and expanding Stanford’s capacity in this arena would greatly enhance our research capacity.”

Our partnership

As part of our partnership, we will receive assistance from the Carpentries with organizing six of these two-day workshops on campus. The usual $2500 per workshop fee will be waived, and additional workshops above the first six will have the fee discounted 50%. We have already identified several eager local partners who will be contributing to the partnership and hosting one of these workshops for their departments, institutes, or groups. The Libraries hopes to hold one or more open workshops as well.

All Carpentries workshops are taught by certified Carpentries instructors who volunteer their time to teach workshops. As a Carpentries partner, Stanford receives 30 spots in Carpentries instructor training for members of our community. We also now have a certified instructor trainer on the Libraries staff who can lead instructor training workshops. By training more local instructors, we will greatly increase our capacity for hosting Carpentries workshops on campus, as this will enable more flexible scheduling and reduce workshop costs (since instructor travel is paid for by the workshop host).

Your opportunities

  • Interested in contributing to the partnership and running a workshop? Contact me at amyhodge@stanford.edu.
  • Interested in becoming a certified Carpentries instructor? Contact me at amyhodge@stanford.edu.
  • Interested in attending a workshop? Contact me at amyhodge@stanford.edu.

I’m looking forward to a busy year of Carpentries at Stanford!