By Philip Fowler, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.
This post is based on my experience of organising and hosting the first Software Carpentry workshop at the University of Oxford.
For a workshop to be successful, there has to be one and only one local person who is ultimately responsible for the workshop. A host brings the attendees, the instructors and the helpers together in such a way that things get learnt and everyone enjoys themselves. Being the host sounds kind of glamorous, but really what it means is coming in early on both days to buy the donuts, set out the chairs and check that there are no builders drilling. (And on the second day this work will be done after at a night at the pub.) If this is you, or might be you, read on…
1. Who's invited?
Be clear what sort of workshop you will run. Can anyone apply or is it restricted to a specific university or company? You'll need to decide this very early on and then stick to it, because the type of workshop you host will drive many of your other decisions: from the topics covered, to the room used, to how you plan any follow-up sessions.
There are pros and cons either way. A closed workshop can be more easily tailored to a specific audience, the attendees are more likely to know one another and follow-ups will be easier. On the other hand, you won't have any problems populating an open workshop.
If you choose a…Continue Reading