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Who We Are

The Software Carpentry Foundation is a non-profit volunteer organization whose members teach researchers basic software skills.

A Case for Online Data Visualization

By Isabell Kiral-Kornek and Robert Kerr / 2015-10-02

This article originally appeared in The Research Bazaar.

Thorough data analysis is only one part of good research. Equally important is communicating the outcome well and accessibly. And visible research is accessible research.

Our main motivations for publishing our research results are:

  • making them openly accessible to the public,

  • informing fellow researchers about new outcomes that will help them in their research, and

  • strengthening our professional profiles. more

Please Welcome Our New Executive Director

By Greg Wilson / 2015-10-01

We are very pleased to announce that Jonah Duckles has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Software Carpentry Foundation, and will start on Monday, October 5, 2015. Jonah was most recently the Director of Informatics and Innovation at the University of Oklahoma where he partnered with researchers to improve their computational workflows while developing maker spaces for the campus. He holds a BS in Physics and an MS in Forestry and Natural Resources, both from Purdue, and has been a very active contributor to Software Carpentry for several years. more

Citation Format

By Greg Wilson / 2015-09-30

Earlier this month, we published our lessons by giving them DOIs through Zenodo. As we said in an earlier post, though, we've been struggling to figure out (a) how to cite them in text and (b) how to express their metadata in standard bibliographic formats to produce those human-readable citations. more

Thinking About Teaching

By Greg Wilson / 2015-09-28

A little over a year ago, we blogged about jugyokenkyu, or "lesson study", a bucket of practices that Japanese teachers use to hone their craft, from observing each other at work to discussing the lesson afterward to studying curriculum materials with colleagues. Getting the Software Carpentry Foundation up and running almost immediately pushed that aside, but now that the SCF is up and running, it's time to return to the subject. Discussion of how teaching practices are transferred is part of that; so are two other developments this week. more

Announcing the 2015 Instructor and Helper Retreat

By Bill Mills / 2015-09-22

The Mentorship Committee is very excited to announce the first ever Software & Data Carpentry Instructors & Helpers Retreat, happening worldwide on November 14. We're inviting all Software and Data Carpentry instructors and helpers to get together at sites around the world for a day of sharing skills, trying out new lessons and ideas and discussing all things instructor and helper related. more

September 6 - 19, 2015: A Retreat, New Mentors, Instructor Training Update, Preparing Researchers, Interactive Excercises, and a Student's Experience.

By Anelda van der Walt / 2015-09-19



  • Christina Koch mentioned some fun interactive excercises for explaining concepts related to automation and version control in her latest blog.


  • "What would you teach to prepare researchers better to do good science given the changing technological landscape?" An interesting post by Naupaka Zimmerman about being wrong, provenance, and structured data. What are your ideas?


  • Join the Software Credit Workshop on 19 October 2015 in London to participate in the conversation about career advancement for research software developers. more

Software Credit Workshop in London, 19 October 2015

By Shoaib Sufi / 2015-09-18

Securing credit for research software is the subject of the Software Credit Workshop. This is taking place at the Natural History Museum, London, UK on the 19th October 2015.

Explore what contributions software can and should make for career advancement. Discuss ways in which you see software tools and applications supporting the current needs of researchers and software developers seeking credit for their involvement in research software. Identify and propose ideas for improving the way software’s contribution to better research are connected and how this should support appropriate reputational credit for research software enablers.

Join other funders, publishers, software developers, researchers, leaders, citation experts and altmetrics visionaries to make your thoughts heard and shape the conversation.

Find out more and register at more

Software Engineering Practices in Science

By Greg Wilson / 2015-09-16

Dustin Heaton and Jeffrey Carver have just published a paper titled Claims About the Use of Software Engineering Practices in Science: A Systematic Literature Review: more

Teaching to the Workflow

By Naupaka Zimmerman / 2015-09-15

"Teaching to the test" has a deservedly bad reputation, but what about "teaching to the workflow"? A group of us came together at the NCEAS Open Science Codefest last year and put together a paper on open science in ecology. In it, we sketch three examples of possible open science workflows (Figure 2 in the paper). In response, I was asked what Software Carpentry should teach to prepare people for working in those ways. My top three things are (in order): more

Not Quite Lesson Material

By Christina Koch / 2015-09-14

Originally posted on the author's blog.

Lesson plans are a funny thing. The Software Carpentry lessons are an odd balance of a lesson to be read (like a textbook) and a lesson plan for instructors, where they bring the text to life via speaking, live coding, and doing exercises.

This text format doesn't lend itself well to a few activities I've used in Software Carpentry workshops. So I'm going to throw them up here for other instructors to look at - feel free to add your own activities in the comments, or submit another blog post! more

Blog Archives ⇒

Data Carpentry

Our sibling organization Data Carpentry teaches basic concepts, skills, and tools for working more effectively with data.

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