Prompted by a recent email I gave some thought to our plans to expand the types of boot camps we offer, especially when it comes to a sort of "next level" boot camp and whether we might offer boot camps that introduce traditional software developers to the world of scientific programming:
There is significant discussion on the best way to expand Software Carpentry. Longer boot camps, advanced boot camps, etc. At some point we need to start actually experimenting with these things, but we have many constraints, most notably a severe shortage of person-hours to devote to developing curriculum and staffing events. Scientists, it turns out, are very busy people!
We focus on teaching software engineering to scientists, but I think it would be an interesting experiment to try to identify the overlapping interests of Software Carpentry graduates and web developers and run a boot camp based on that. I could see people getting a lot out of the co-mingling at such an event.
Picking curriculum could be a challenge. Do we keep it general or pick a subfield? Even in our regular boot camps we find it useful to change lessons based on the audience. Biologists are into SQL, physicists more interested in fast numeric processing. And the more specific we make things the fewer people we interest. My mind goes immediately to scientific Python but then that's my specialty.
If you have thoughts on what to teach in a "next level" boot camp please leave them in the comments, and if you'd like to host one please get in touch!comments powered by Disqus