Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

Where the Time Goes (Version 2)

Last November, I wrote a post about where my time was going. A lot has changed since then, including my workload, so here's an update:

Hours Activity Notes
12.0 Instructor training Averages 1.5 days/week (but is bursty).
8.0 Bookkeeping Currently high because we're putting data into Amy and getting our books in order.
6.0 Discussions with partners (current and potential) Some live, some by email.
6.0 Developing Amy Some is coding/reviewing, most is discussing what it should do.
4.0 Coordinating workshops The admins handle most of it, but there are always things left over.
4.0 Board discussions and tasks Varies week to week.
4.0 Other email. Miscellaneous questions that need answers.
4.0 Maintaining the web site Includes writing blog posts, generating badges for new instructors, etc.
2.0 Technical support Git issues, mailing list issues, web site issues, etc.

That's 50 hours in a week when I'm not traveling or teaching workshops, down from 57.5 hours/week seven months ago, and we have accomplished a tremendous amount since the Steering Committee was elected in January:

  • the workshop template is much easier to use;

  • our lessons (mostly) conform to the new template and have almost been published;

  • we're holding regular debriefing sessions in which instructors from recent workshop can share their experiences;

  • we've trained a bunch of new instructors, and run some very promising experiments with accelerated online instructor training;

  • we're using Amy on a daily basis; and

  • more than a dozen organizations have signed up as partners or affiliates, and more are in the pipeline.

The list still doesn't include things that are vital to Software Carpentry's long-term health, like writing up instructor training or creating new lessons, but the foundation that will allow us to focus on that is almost in place.

Dialogue & Discussion

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