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Data and Software Carpentry:
Using Training to Build a Worldwide
Research Community
Tracy K. Teal, PhD
Data Carpentry, Executive Director
Software and Data Carpentry
Non-profit organizations that
 Train people in software development and
data science skills for more effective work and
career development
 Build community and local capacity for
teaching and learning these skills and
perspectives
Better programming practices for
more effective work and improved
career pathways
Skills are increasingly important as we
generate more digital data
Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S.
Science and Engineering in 2017-2020: Interim Report
New knowledge and skills will be needed to make effective use of new system
architectures and software. “Hybrid” disciplines such as computational
science and data science and interdisciplinary teams may come to play an
increasingly important role. Keeping abreast of a rapidly evolving suite of
relevant technologies is challenging for many computer science programs,
especially those with limited partnerships with the private sector. Most
domain scientists rely on traditional software tools and languages and may
not have ready access to knowledge or expertise about new approaches.
Researchers are very interested in
learning these skills
http://braembl.org.au/news/braembl-community-survey-report-2013
How do we scale data and software
skills along with data production?
Building skills and community
 Peer-led hands-on intensive workshops
 Volunteer instructors
 Open and collaborative lesson materials
 Creating and supporting community
Workshops
 2-days, active learning
 Feedback to learners throughout the workshop
 Trained instructors
 Friendly learning environment
Software Carpentry
Software development best practices
 Command line
 Version control with github
 Programming in Python or R
Data Carpentry
Working effectively with data and includes
domain-specific content
 Data organization
 Data cleaning
 Data analysis and visualization in R or Python
Workshop goals
• Teach skills
• Get people started and introduce them to
what’s possible
• Build confidence in using these skills
• Encourage people to continue learning
• Positive learning experience
Instructors
• Instructor training program
• Over 900 instructors on 6 continents
Curriculum
• Open and collaboratively developed
• Continual improvement and up-to-date
Video of workshop teaching
Software Carpentry shell lesson
http://swcarpentry.github.io/shell-novice/
Example of live coding:
Introduction to the command line lesson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPmwe_WjeY&feature=youtu.be
Community
A group of people excited about software and
data skills and about sharing them with others
 Mentoring program and instructor onboarding
 Discussion groups and community calls
 Email lists
 Teaching at other institutions
Outcomes
Short and long term surveys show that people
are learning the skills, putting them into practice
in their work and have more confidence in their
ability to do computational work.
The tools I learned in my Carpentry workshop:
- “helped me to reshape my workflow into a far more efficient and robust process.”
- “are improving my ability to share data and code.”
- “helped facilitate my understanding of the problems and solutions to accessing
and transforming data.”
- “[are] useful tools for training my own team.”
Who takes the workshops?
People like the workshops
Workshop goals
skills, confidence, practical use
Confidence
People have more confidence and continue
learning 6 months or more after workshops
If you want to go fast, go alone.
If you want to go far, go together.
Next steps with
Software and Data Carpentry
 Host a workshop
 A person who can coordinate local logistics
 A room for two days
 At least 15 people who would like to attend (can
have up to 40)
 Become a Member Organization and have
instructor training
 Sign up if you’re interested in becoming an
instructor trainer
Thank you!

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Data and Software Carpentry Science Gateways webinar 2017-05-10

  • 1. Data and Software Carpentry: Using Training to Build a Worldwide Research Community Tracy K. Teal, PhD Data Carpentry, Executive Director
  • 2. Software and Data Carpentry Non-profit organizations that  Train people in software development and data science skills for more effective work and career development  Build community and local capacity for teaching and learning these skills and perspectives
  • 3.
  • 4. Better programming practices for more effective work and improved career pathways
  • 5. Skills are increasingly important as we generate more digital data
  • 6. Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S. Science and Engineering in 2017-2020: Interim Report New knowledge and skills will be needed to make effective use of new system architectures and software. “Hybrid” disciplines such as computational science and data science and interdisciplinary teams may come to play an increasingly important role. Keeping abreast of a rapidly evolving suite of relevant technologies is challenging for many computer science programs, especially those with limited partnerships with the private sector. Most domain scientists rely on traditional software tools and languages and may not have ready access to knowledge or expertise about new approaches.
  • 7. Researchers are very interested in learning these skills http://braembl.org.au/news/braembl-community-survey-report-2013
  • 8. How do we scale data and software skills along with data production?
  • 9. Building skills and community  Peer-led hands-on intensive workshops  Volunteer instructors  Open and collaborative lesson materials  Creating and supporting community
  • 10. Workshops  2-days, active learning  Feedback to learners throughout the workshop  Trained instructors  Friendly learning environment
  • 11. Software Carpentry Software development best practices  Command line  Version control with github  Programming in Python or R
  • 12. Data Carpentry Working effectively with data and includes domain-specific content  Data organization  Data cleaning  Data analysis and visualization in R or Python
  • 13. Workshop goals • Teach skills • Get people started and introduce them to what’s possible • Build confidence in using these skills • Encourage people to continue learning • Positive learning experience
  • 14. Instructors • Instructor training program • Over 900 instructors on 6 continents
  • 15. Curriculum • Open and collaboratively developed • Continual improvement and up-to-date
  • 16. Video of workshop teaching Software Carpentry shell lesson http://swcarpentry.github.io/shell-novice/ Example of live coding: Introduction to the command line lesson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPmwe_WjeY&feature=youtu.be
  • 17. Community A group of people excited about software and data skills and about sharing them with others  Mentoring program and instructor onboarding  Discussion groups and community calls  Email lists  Teaching at other institutions
  • 18. Outcomes Short and long term surveys show that people are learning the skills, putting them into practice in their work and have more confidence in their ability to do computational work. The tools I learned in my Carpentry workshop: - “helped me to reshape my workflow into a far more efficient and robust process.” - “are improving my ability to share data and code.” - “helped facilitate my understanding of the problems and solutions to accessing and transforming data.” - “[are] useful tools for training my own team.”
  • 19. Who takes the workshops?
  • 20. People like the workshops
  • 23.
  • 24. People have more confidence and continue learning 6 months or more after workshops
  • 25. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
  • 26. Next steps with Software and Data Carpentry  Host a workshop  A person who can coordinate local logistics  A room for two days  At least 15 people who would like to attend (can have up to 40)  Become a Member Organization and have instructor training  Sign up if you’re interested in becoming an instructor trainer

Editor's Notes

  1. Software and Data Carpentry are non-profit organizations
  2. Software and Data Carpentry are non-profit organizations that – train people in software development and data science skills for more effective research and work and for career development and – build community and local capacity for teaching and sharing these skills and perspectives
  3. Since 2014 taught 857 workshops to over 17,000 learners
  4. The reason we do this is that in 1998 Greg Wilson was a professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto and he saw that even in computer science, people either didn’t have the skills to do software development or weren’t using the kinds of best practices for software development that were being used in industry. He realized that there generally weren’t good opportunities to learn these skills in K-12 or in universities.
  5. Since 1998 this has only become more important as code and software development is integral or forms the basis of so much of our work. With the emergence of our ability to generate increasing amounts of data, reasearch and work in almost every domain has a data and computational component, including the whole new field of data science.
  6. In report after report from the NSF about research and career development, the need for skills in software development and data science tops the list.
  7. It’s not just reports that say that people need to learn these skills. Engineers and researchers themselves want to learn these skills. A lack of these skills is limiting the full potential of people in their research and careers.
  8. How do we scale software and data skills training along with this data production. This is what SWC and DC do ,and I’m going to talk about what we do in SWC and DC and some of our outcomes with this approach.
  9. We teach skills and perspectives and build communities through – peer-led 2-day hands on intensive workshops, - volunteer instructors – open and collaborative lessons – support for community
  10. Workshops are 2-day, hands-on, interactive, friendly learning environment (CoC), teaching the foundational skills and perspectives for working with software and data
  11. Software Carpentry is focused on software development skills and teaches the command line, version control with github and R or Python
  12. Data Carpentry is focused on data science and data skills and teaches domain-specific workshops on working with data. This includes effective data organization, data cleaning and data analysis and visualization using R or Python
  13. Goals of the workshop, aren’t just to teach the skills, but to build self-efficacy and increase confidence and create a positive learning experience. We know we can’t teach everything in two days, but we want to teach the foundational skills and get people started and give them the confidence to continue learning. Many people have had demotivating experience when learning things like coding or computational skills, and we want to change that perspective.
  14. A big part of this positive workshop experience is our instructors. We have over 900 volunteer instructors on 6 continents. We have an instructor training program that teaches educational pedagogy and emphasizes creating an approachable and inclusive environment, including with our CoC. For many of our instrucotrs, they say this is the first time they’ve had access to training on how to teach. The instructors are generally active researchers, graduate students, postdocs or research scientists who have computational skills, often having had to struggle to learn them on their own, and are passionate about sharing these skills with others.
  15. Curriculum. Also, all our teaching materials are open and available and colalboratively developed. This means the lessons are a public resource both for contributions to the lessons and for people to be able to use. Because of this, they get better because they’re being taught hundreds of times, and also because they can be udpated, they’re kept current with the tools and approaches people are using in their work and research.
  16. Community. One of the un-intended consequences of building this training program has been the growth of a community. Our learners and volunteer instructors in particulr list being part of the community as one of the primary reasons they work witth the Carpentries. It’s a group of people excited about computational skills, but also about teaching and sharing them. We have a mentoring program to help new instructors, discussion sessions for people to talk about workshops, onboarding process for new instructors and because people go to different institutes to teach, opportunities to travel and grow their network and meet other instructors and learners.
  17. When we get feedback on our workshops, this friendliness and the instructors are noted as some of the great strengths of the workshop. This approach has been shown to be effective in both short-term surveys after the workshop and in long-term surveys, more than 6 months after a workshop, with just a two-day workshop having a dramatic impact on work and career outcomes
  18. Also, they just like the workshop, feeling it was a good use of their time and that they would recommend it to a colleague or friend.
  19. . If we go back to the workshop goals around skills, perspectives and confidence, we can see good outcomes in all of these areas. After a workshop people …
  20. And one of the things people like most are the instructors, which is great for learners for their experience, but also seeing peers as role models in this space, and when the instructors get this kind of feedback they feel like their contributions and teaching are valued.
  21. Do these improved outcomes continue after a workshop? We just are running a longer term survey, of people who took a workshop 6 months or more ago. So far we have over 500 responses, and we continue to see positive outcomes in all these categories. Importantly, we see that people are continuing to learn after the workshop, so it has set them on a pathway of learning.
  22. In today’s world of increasing reliance on software and a growing trend towards data-driven work, we think these skills are very important and crucial for helping students reach their full potential in their career. But it’s not only the skills, but buildlng a community – a community of practice that uses these skills and continues to learn and support each other, and a community that teaches and mentors each other. So many people do want to learn these things, but are trying to learn them on their own or don’t have opportunities to learn.There’s a saying ‘if you want go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far go together’ and we’re focused on the going together to create life-long learners and a sustainable community.
  23. As I said, we work to build local capacity, and that means getting workshops in different places and also doing instructor training. So, if this is something that you’re interested in bringing to your NSBE chapter, how could you get involved. Host a workshop. This is a great way to start because it gives you, the students and the administrators at your university the chance to see what a workshop is like and what people think. If then it does seem like something you want to help grow locally, instructor training is the next step, so that you have instructors at your university and in your community. For that you can sign up to be Member Organizations that include instructor training and workshops. When you train instructors too, they’ll get to teach locally, but we also have workshops all over the world, so they’ll have the opportunity to teach other places and work with the community more broadly. For instance Kari is going to South Africa next week and has already taught in places from South Korea to Florida. Addmittedly not everyone will travel quite as extensively.
  24. Thanks so much to you for being here and to Kari for organizing this workshop! I’m happy to take any questions, or you’re welcome to email Kari or me anytime.