At our March 12, 2015 meeting, the Software Carpentry Foundation Steering Committee discussed whether and under what terms to provide workshops to for-profit corporations. There were no objections to the idea of doing workshops for corporations, but it is something new to Software Carpentry. We've decided to run a pilot program encompassing five corporate workshops so we can learn more about working with corporations. The pilot program will allow us to gauge corporate interest and collect feedback from instructors, coordinators, and others about how things go.
Workshops at companies will be run on these terms:
- Hosts will pay $5000 for their first workshop and $3000 for subsequent workshops.
- As with our other workshops, instructors will be volunteers and their travel expenses will be covered by hosts.
- Three-quarters of the money directed to the SCF will be used to underwrite administrative fees for non-profit organizations.
- Fee waivers/discounts will be available to corporations on a case-by-case basis just as with non-profit organizations.
The third point is probably the most important: each workshop at a company will effectively pay the administration fee for three workshops at universities, for under-represented groups, etc.
We have updated our workshop request form to reflect this new policy. At the end of the pilot program the Steering Committee will consider whether to continue doing workshops for for-profit entities, taking into account such factors as whether the instructors, coordinators, and students involved had positive experiences, and whether there seems likely to be continued interest from corporations. The Steering Committee may also elect to change the terms under which corporate workshops are provided. (Because it has already been arranged, the upcoming workshop at Monsanto will pay the lower administrative fee of $1250, but it will count toward the five-workshop sample for the pilot program.)
Thank you to everyone in our community for sharing their perspectives on this matter—we'll report back on the pilot's progress as soon as we can. Until then, if you know of a company that would be interested in hosting a workshop, we'd be grateful for an introduction.