Software Carpentry

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Software Carpentry teaches researchers software development skills to help them do more, in less time and with less pain. As an official Software Carpentry Foundation Partner we coordinate Software Carpentry activities in the UK helping organise workshops for the UK research community.

Giacomo Peru is the UK administrator for Software Carpentry. For more information about Software Carpentry and organising a training course, email our training theme lead, Aleksandra Pawlik. For more information about our collaboration with Software Carpentry, please contact us directly.

What is Software Carpentry

Software Carpentry Foundation is a non-profit membership organization devoted to improving basic computing skills among researchers in science, engineering, medicine, and other disciplines. Its main goal is to teach researchers software development skills to help them do more, in less time and with less pain. Software Carpentry workshops are hands-on two-day training events during which the attendees gain practical skills and understanding how particular software development tools and methodologies can benefit their own work. 

The core curriculum taught at Software Carpentry workshops includes:

  • automating tasks using the Unix shell;
  • structured programming in Python or R;
  • version control using Git or Mercurial;
  • and data management using SQL.

All training material is freely available online. Software Carpentry workshops have been running since 1998 and have gained international recognition being hosted by various institutions worldwide.

What we offer

We provide advice on the organisation and running of workshops. This includes possible adjusting of the syllabus, helping to recruit instructors and helpers for workshops from Software Carpentry's pool of volunteers, advising on publicity and providing support in all aspects of organising, or hosting, a workshop. For more on workshops please see:

Several Institute's staff members are also certified Software Carpentry instructors with extensive experience in teaching at workshops and helping set them up and run them on site. 

Why we are involved with Software Carpentry

Software Carpentry shares our vision of wanting to help researchers confidently and efficiently develop software that contributes to correct, reproducible and reusable research. 

We became involved in Software Carpentry in 2011 by developing online lectures in advanced shell tricks and systems programming in Python. In April 2012, we participated in the first general UK workshop, led by Software Carpentry's creator, Greg Wilson, at University College London. A fortnight later, in conjunction with the Digital Institute at Newcastle University and SoundSoftware, we delivered the first workshop to be run entirely by UK tutors, independent of Greg Wilson's team. We have since instructed upon the majority of workshops run in the UK as well as helped to deliver workshops in Europe and the USA. We also wrote a comprehensive guide on how to run a workshop.

In February 2013, we volunteered to coordinate Software Carpentry activities in the UK. We do this by helping promote Software Carpentry and helping researchers to bring Software Carpentry to their institution, community or collaboration. In early 2015, soon after the set up of the Organisational Membership scheme, we became a Software Carpentry Foundation Partner.

"We are pleased to have the Software Sustainability Institute take over coordination of UK workshops. The Institute shares many goals and values with Software Carpentry, and we believe this partnership will benefit both organisations." - Greg Wilson, Founder of Software Carpentry and the Executive Director of the Software Carpentry Foundation.