Teaching basic lab skills
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Feedback on Communications

Software and Data Carpentry have at their core a collaboration-driven ethos, and communication is key to that collaboration. We’re reaffirming our commitment to open and transparent communication, because we know we can do better! We want to give community members opportunities to talk to each other, staff and Steering Committees, to get updates on efforts and activities and to generate ideas and participate in discussions.

So, first, we want to hear from you!

What ideas do you have about communication? What do you want to hear from us? What channels do you like to use for communication? Do you like email lists or forums that include every topic, or ones on particular questions, domains or regions? What do you like about communication now? What don’t you like?

We’re going to be working on communication channels and strategies to promote and support these ideas, and continue to make the Carpentries a community that you are excited to be a part of, so please let us know what you think!

Please respond as a comment to this post, or in our “conversations” repository on GitHub (we’re considering these our suggestion boxes) if you have particular topics. Thanks for your feedback!


To be true to our ethos and effective in our mission, we need to be able to communicate effectively about both aspirations and ongoing efforts so that we can learn from each other, identify critical issues, recover quickly from mistakes, evaluate ideas and commitments, and make strategic decisions.

As a community, we communicate in many ways and for different purposes.

  • Community members take initiative to coordinate activities.
  • Staff and committee members seek community input.
  • Staff and committee members report actions and deliver products to the community.

We know that we need effective ways for:

  • Community members to propose ideas for new work or directions for ongoing work.
  • Community members to organize work efforts around a particular issue.
  • Community members to stay up-to-date on work going on in the community, including work done by staff members, Steering Committees and subcommittees and unofficial groups of community members.
  • Staff to jointly decide on priorities, form productive collaborations and keep up-to-date on progress of projects.

We also know that there may be other communication needs we have as an organization that we haven’t yet considered. We invite anyone who has experience in communications, in building open communities or who simply has thoughts about these issues to contribute as we work to develop an thoughtful, efficient and transparent communications strategy.

We envision this blog post and our new “Conversations” repository as a first step in developing this strategy.

To take part in the conversation about developing communication strategy - please respond to this post or to the GitHub issue.

As we work to develop a communications strategy, Carpentry staff will actively monitor this thread and follow-up on issues.

Dialogue & Discussion

You can review our commenting policy here.