By now, many people in the UK (well, many of the sort who read this blog) will have heard the term Research Software Engineer, but what exactly is an RSE, and what effect will the creation of this title have? To understand, we need to go back to the Software Sustainability Institute's Collaborations Workshop in early 2012 (summarized in these blog posts and others). Those discussions led to this position paper at Digital Research 2012, whose authors argued that:...read more
The mentoring subcommmittee hosted instructor debriefings on 23 June 2015 to discuss recently completed workshops. We are delighted that so many new instructors are joining us at these sessions as a way to prepare for upcoming workshops, and welcome anyone else interested to attend as well. Below we highlight a few discussion points from our sessions, including issues with lesson pacing and Python installation, as well as tips on using the etherpad and GitHub organizations. A more in-depth synopsis of a recent workshop can be found in this fantastic post on Raniere Silva's blog....read more
I wrote about our experiments with the format of instructor training back in May. At that time, we had run the class as:
We have since tried the mixed mode twice with the trainees at three different sites (three universities in Arizona for one run, and universities in Cape Town, Sheffield, and Ann Arbor for the other). We've also gathered a lot of feedback on what people want from instructor training and what its prerequisites should be. Here's what we've learned....read more
At the beginning of June Rémi Emonet, Kwasi Kwakwa, and Chelsea Chisholm ran a workshop at CERN. Rémi has just posted a review. It went well, and there are a lot of good ideas in his write-up—from using a whiteboard for diagrams to the IPython Notebook's successor (Jupyter) and some semi-improvised intermediate material....read more
A recurring complaint about our lesson template is that it requires authors to commit generated HTML files to their repositories as well as their Markdown source files. This is necessary because we use Pandoc to convert Markdown to HTML, but GitHub will only run Jekyll.
There were a bunch of reasons for using Pandoc instead of Jekyll, but it is now clear that the simplicity of only committing Markdown—i.e., of using GitHub pages the way they're meant to be used—is more important. We have therefore created a prototype of a Jekyll-based template (which is rendered here). The most important changes are:...read more
The indefatigable Raniere Silva has just posted a description of a workshop at the University of Ceará that he and Dani Ushizima just finished teaching. It went well, and there are a lot of good ideas in his write-up — please check it out....read more
Three weeks ago, Jason Williams, Jeramia Ory, and Daniel Chen met at the New York Public Library to work out an initial survey to assess our learners. Greg Wilson and Katerena Kuksenok joined virtually to provide feedback. The goal was to take the comments from the various initial GitHub issues and create a draft of an assessment survey for everyone to provide input. Our first draft is up, so please provide feedback at https://github.com/swcarpentry/assessment/issues/6....read more
Software Carpentry has grown and grown again since our re-launch in 2010. We are now helping thousands of scientists every year, and while many of our partners and instructors are now organizing workshops on their own, a lot of details still need to be sorted out to keep the whole show on the road.
We therefore wish to hire a Program Coordinator to manage our day-to-day operations. This paid position will initially be part-time, but we expect that it will convert to full-time after a probationary period if funding allows. The successful candidate does not need to be either a programmer or a scientist, but must be well-organized, and can be located anywhere with reliable Internet access. The full description is included below; to apply, please email email@example.com with "Program Coordinator position" in the subject line and a resume (either attached as PDF, or a link to something online). And please help us spread the word: we're a fun bunch to work with, and this would be a chance for someone to help a lot of scientists get more done in less time, and with less pain.
Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Arliss Collins for all her hard work over the past year and a half. She is moving on to other duties now that our relationship with the Mozilla Science Lab has ended, but we couldn't have gotten through the past eighteen months without her. I'd also like to thank Amy Brown, who has come back to keep things going while we search for someone permanent, and welcome Kasia Zaczek, who is about to start handling workshops for us in Europe on behalf of Cyfronet in the same way that Giacomo Peru and Aleksandra Pawlik have been handling them in the UK on behalf of the SSI. Here's hoping that one day, somewhere, we can all get together for a group photo......read more
Raniere Silva has written a short post about a trick he found (via Kate Hertweck) for splitting the terminal window when teaching the shell so that recent commands stay visible at the top. It's a clever idea; we would welcome feedback from other instructors who have tried it or similar things. And if you have tricks of your own that you'd like to share, please let us know—we'd be happy to feature them here....read more