Instructor training

Instructor trainingBy Amy Beeston, University of Sheffield.

I attended the instructor training course in Manchester last week. During one of the coffee breaks, we were sharing stories of how we first met these teachings, and how as new learners we first tried to put our freshly-acquired Software Carpentry skills to use. Following that conversation, our instructor Aleksandra Nenadic invited me to write this blogpost to share my experiences.

I was introduced to the concept of Software Carpentry by Greg Wilson during the week-long Sound Software Autumn School in late 2010. Heavily pregnant, I sat on the back row during most of Greg’s classes — the row with the extra leg/body room — and listened to the very best of my ability to every single word he said.

As a group of learners, we came from varied disciplines but all shared the need to focus our programming skills on developing tools that accessed data in the audio domain. Many of us were self-taught programmers, and some of us had relatively little text-based coding experience as we were used to thinking and working in real-time signal processing…

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The Software Sustainability Institute is organising Carpentry Instructor Training workshop at the University of Manchester from 4th to 5th September 2017, just before WSSSPE5.1 and RSE 2017—making it a nice week in Manchester.

The Instructor Training is an intensive two-day workshop for trainers who wish to become Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry instructors. It is strongly recommended that attendees have some previous exposure to Data and/or Software Carpentry workshops, either as students, helpers, observers or co-instructors.

The event is sold out at the moment, but you can still join the waiting list.


Instructor TrainingBy Steve Crouch, Software Sustainability Institute, with Karin Lagesen, University of Oslo, and Laurent Gatto, University of Cambridge.

Last month, we held a Software and Data Carpentry Instructor Training workshop at the University of Cambridge, sponsored by the R Consortium. The demand for Carpentry events in the UK, and trained instructors to facilitate them, has always been very high, and I found this to be a very enjoyable event to increase the instructor pool in the UK.

The main organiser of the event was Laurent Gatto, a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow who has delivered numerous Carpentry courses since becoming a certified instructor in 2014. We also had the able helping hands of Paul Judge and Gabriella Rustici from the University of Cambridge Bioinformatics Training facility, who assisted greatly with the event and helped us make great use of the sophisticated presentation systems present in the training room.

The workshop was held on 19th and 20th of September, with myself and Karin Lagesen as instructors. We were delighted with the very high level of engagement from the 25 trainees - this was very much the kind of group we hope…

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Thanks to generous sponsorship from the R Consortium, Software Carpentry is running a two-day R instructor training class in Cambridge on September 19-20, 2016. If you are active in the R and/or Software and Data Carpentry communities, and wish to take part in this training, please fill in this application form. We will select applicants, and notify everyone who applied, by June 30, 2016; those who are selected will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation. If you have any questions, please mail

Please note that as a condition of taking this training:

  1. You are required to abide by our code of conduct, which can be found at

  2. You must complete three short tasks after the course in order to complete certification. The tasks are described at, and take a total of approximately 2 hours.

  3. You are expected to teach at a Software Carpentry or Data Carpentry workshop within 12 months of the course.

This news was originally posted on the Software Carpentry website…

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By Aleksandra Pawlik, Training Leader

Last week the Institute in collaboration with the North West UniversityCape Town University and Talarify helped run the first face-to-face Software and Data Carpentry Instructor Training. 23 new instructors from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya attended the event. After the workshop the Institute's work was also presented at the Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT) Autumn General Institutional Meeting. 

The Instructor Training started off on Sunday, 17th April in the evening with a short ice-breaking session of lightning talks during which the participants talked about "The coolest thing about their job" for 2 minutes. The experience in chairing similar sessions during the Institute's Collaborations Workshop turned out to be invaluable!

On Monday we introduced the participants to the Mozilla Science Lab Study Groups. The goal of this session was to create foundations for collaborative, peer-to-peer environments in which researchers can share their knowledge and skills.  After lunch we moved on to the Instructor Training curriculum. All participants were very engaged during the group exercises and were eager to discuss effective approaches to teaching and the practical applications of educational psychology theories. One of the most…

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The Software Sustainability Institute will host the Data and Software Carpentry in-person Instructor Training on 4-5th May 2016 in Edinburgh. A number of attendees who have been ​on a waiting list for the training have already signed up but there are still several places left.

If you want to take part in this Instructor Training please register via Eventbrite. Once you completed the registration, please fill in a short survey form. The places for the Edinburgh workshop are limited, however please note that we recognize the high demand for Instructor Training in the UK and we are doing our best to meet that demand.


This Software and Data Carpentry Instructor Training workshop was the first one from a series of three workshops run in Australia and New Zealand. In both countries the growing demand for Software and Data Carpentry training meant that there was a need to grow instructor pool on the Southern Hemisphere. Aleksandra Pawlik who is one of the instructor trainers was invited to run these workshops in January 2016.

The main organiser of the Instructor Training in Brisbane was Belinda Weaver who is in charge of delivering cloud solutions and supporting research at the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation. Belinda is also one of the most experienced Australian instructors and has been collaborating with Software Carpentry for a long time.

The workshop, held on 18th and 19th January 2016, was hosted at the sunny campus of the University of Queensland. With support of a lot of sunshine and excellent coffee Aleksandra was able to overcome the jetlag and run the workshop attended by 20 participants from various Australian research organisations. Belinda put a lot of effort into composing a group of individuals with strong interest in training and with experience in Software and Data Carpentry workshops.

The participants were very keen to collaborate together during the exercises and discuss best practices for teaching. Many were able to put what…

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This Instructor Training was a part of an ELIXIR pilot project for rolling out Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry within ELIXIR Nodes. 20 new instructors based in 7 different countries were trained during this two day event which took place 13-14th January 2016. 

ELIXIR is a pan-European project for building a sustainable European infrastructure for biological information, supporting life science research and its translation to medicine, agriculture, bioindustries and society. The Institute works closely with the UK Node of ELIXIR which, among many activities, is responsible for developing capacity for computational infrastructure training.

The event in Lausanne concluded a series of pilot activities which started a year ago and focused on introducing Data and Software Carpentry workshops. Thanks to this earlier outreach most participants in Lausanne already had exposure to how the workshops are run. Almost all attendees are strongly engaged in developing and delivering teaching at their home institutions and the Instructor Training was a great opportunity to discuss best practices in teaching.

The leaders of the ELIXIR Train the Trainer (TtT) task are interested in a possibility of incorporating the Software and Data Carpentry Instructor Training programme in the TtT package…

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By Aleksandra Pawlik, Training Lead.

This is the last in this month's blog posts taking you around the different activities of the Institute. Today, we feature the Training team.

The training team has been travelling all over the UK and Europe to engage with learners from many different disciplines. We also report on an upcoming visit to the British Science Festival, and interesting new developments with Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry.

Supporting ELIXIR UK in training for bioinformatics

The Institute carries on its activities successfully supporting ELIXIR UK in delivering training to life science researchers. We are helping coordinate the pilot project to introduce and develop Software and Data Carpentry training within ELIXIR UK and across other international ELIXIR Nodes.

After running two hackathons and workshops hosted by ELIXIR Finland and ELIXIR Netherlands Aleksandra Pawlik, the Institute’s Training Lead, co-ran a Data Carpentry workshop hosted by ELIXIR Slovenia. The workshop for 30 attendees was delivered at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana and the National Institute of Biology in Ljubljana. The other instructors were Aleksandra Nenadic (ELIXIR-UK Training Coordinator for Infrastructure Technology and University of Manchester) and Peter Juvan (Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, ELIXIR SI).…

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In order to increase the capacity for computational training for researchers we are working towards increasing the pool of certified Software and Data Carpentry instructors. With the growing demand for workshops thought the UK we need to make sure that these events can be staffed with qualified trainers. We help Software Carpentry Foundation run instructor training events in the UK based on tailor-made curriculum designed by Greg Wilson, Founder of Software Carpentry and the Executive Director of the Software Carpentry Foundation.  

What is instructor training?

Instructor training is a two-day intense workshop during which the participants learn and discuss a variety of teaching techniques. The training provides the participants with skills essential to become an effective instructor. The curriculum of instructor training is based on the outcomes of research in education and pedagogy, and hence is applicable not only for teaching Software and Data Carpentry but also other courses in a variety of disciplines.

Instructor training covers topics such as course and lesson design, psychology of education, managing a classroom, dealing with challenges as a teacher and so on. We also discuss the value of feedback and learn how to provide as well as how to receive it.

A part of this training also focuses on Software and Data Carpentry specific…

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