Teaching basic lab skills
for research computing

18 Months of Progress

My talk at SciPy in 2014 quoted one of our instructors as saying:

The most frustrating things for me are 1) people are more willing to submit new material…that to improve existing material or review another person’s PR and 2) instructors teaching bootcamps using other lesson material. This experiment in collaborative lesson development is doomed to fail if 1) people don’t make iterative changes to lesson material and 2) the end product isn’t used in live bootcamps.

18 months later, I’m very pleased by how much better we’re doing. Almost all of our instructors are now using our lessons rather than legacy material of their own. just as importantly, dozens of people have submitted pull requests in the last couple of months alone. Some of those are exercises required to complete instructor training, but others range from minor bug fixes to major refactorings.

I’m not sure why this has finally happened: have we finally reached some sort of critical mass, or is it a result of there being specific maintainers for particular lessons? Whatever the cause, it’s great to see.

Dialogue & Discussion

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