An updated version of this post is now available.
A few people have asked how we go about approaching potential workshop hosts. The short answer is, however we can; the longer answer is, we collect names any way we can—from journal articles, watching who follows us on Twitter, just bumping into people—and send emails like the one below to people who are publishing there. A few things to note:
It's worked pretty well for us:
If you'd like to give this a try (i.e., email someone on behalf of Software Carpentry to try to start setting something up for 2013), please let me know—it's a useful skill to pick up.
I hope you don't mind mail out of the blue, but I saw your recent paper on building a computational materials repository, and was wondering if you'd be interested having us run a Software Carpentry workshop for your intended users --- we're scheduling workshops for the coming year right now, and it might be a way to help your community get more out of what you're doing.
Our aim is to teach researchers (usually graduate students) basic computing concepts and skills so that they can get more done in less time, and with less pain. Our usual two-day curriculum includes things like:
but we're happy to tailor content to meet the needs of specific audiences.
We're funded by the Sloan Foundation and Mozilla, and our instructors are volunteers, so the only cost to host sites is their travel and accommodation. (We can handle registration online, or leave it in hosts' hands.) We aim for 40 people per workshop, and look for 2-3 local helpers to assist during practicals. Two independent assessments in the spring of 2012 confirmed that what we're doing accelerates participants' research, so if there's an upcoming meeting, conference, or get-together where a lot of your intended users will be together, we'd welcome a chance to chat at greater length.
Thanks for your time—we look forward to hearing from you.
Dr. Greg Wilson