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Who We Are

Our volunteers teach basic software skills to researchers in science, engineering, and medicine.

What We Do

We run workshops all over the world, provide open access teaching materials, and run an instructor training program.

Why We Don't Teach Testing (Even Though We'd Like To)

By Greg Wilson / 2014-10-30

If you haven't been following Lorena Barba's course on numerical methods in Python, you should. It's a great example of how to use emerging tools to teach more effectively, and if we ever run Software Carpentry online again, we'll do it her way. Yesterday, though, when she posted this notebook, I tweeted, "Beautiful... but where are the unit tests?" In the wake of the discussion that followed, I'd like to explain why we no longer require people to teach testing as part of the Software Carpentry core, and then ask you all a favor. more

Pandoc and Building Pages

By Greg Wilson / 2014-10-29

Long-time readers of this blog and our discussion list will know that I'm unhappy with the choices we have for formatting our lessons. Thanks to a tweet from Karl Broman, I may have an answer. It's outlined below, and I'd be grateful for comments on usability and feasibility. more

Why Software Matters

By Greg Wilson / 2014-10-28

Why does software matter to scientists? It may seem obvious to people who read this blog, but that's like saying that the answer to, "Why opera?" is obvious to the sort of person who pays a month's rent to get a decent seat at Covent Garden. Why does software matter? And why does it matter whether it's written well? more

Lost in Space

By Greg Wilson / 2014-10-27

You probably haven't seen the 1998 movie Lost in Space, or if you have, you've suppressed the memory—it was awful. But I do know one guy who enjoyed it. His name was Joe, and he had worked on the software used to create its special effects. Ten minutes into the film he took out his Walkman (a primitive form of iPod), put on his headphones, and spent the next two hours head-bobbing to a mix of Bob Marley and Smashing Pumpkins. more

British Library Courses

By Greg Wilson / 2014-10-27

I had a chance to catch up with James Baker at the British Library on Friday, and discovered that they're running an amazing series of short classes on digital skills for librarians. With his permission, I've posted their outline below, along with a few excerpts from their FAQ. Some of it is site-specific, but I think a lot would be relevant elsewhere. (Programming in Libraries was developed alongside writing these lessons for the Programming Historian and tweaked for the library audience; interested readers should also check out the practical elements of Managing Personal Digital Research Information work through this public wiki.) If you'd like more information, please mail more

Blog Archives ⇒

Upcoming Workshops

Canada University of Toronto
Oct 30-31, 2014
Australia University of Sydney
Oct 31-Nov 1, 2014
United-States Northwestern University
Oct 31 - Nov 1, 2014
Switzerland Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich
Nov 6-7, 2014
Nov 6-7, 2014
United-States Research Computing & Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University
Nov 7-8, 2014
United-Kingdom The Nowgen Centre, University of Manchester
Nov 10-14, 2014
Germany European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Nov 12-14, 2014
United-Kingdom NERC / University of Leeds
Nov 24-26, 2014
United-Kingdom University of Manchester
Nov 27-28, 2014
...see all

Request a Workshop

Let us know if you would like a software carpentry workshop in your area