Software Carpentry workshop at the University of Otago

Mik Black, Tom Kelly and Murray Cadzow of the University of Otago blog about their recent Software Carpentry workshop experience:

"A three-day Software Carpentry workshop was held at the University of Otago from June 29 - July 1. The instructors for the course were Mik Black, Nick Burns, Murray Cadzow, David Eyers, Tanya Flynn and Tom Kelly, with Anthony Shaw and Riku Takei providing additional assistance as helpers. This was Tanya’s and Nick’s first time teaching at a SWC workshop, so it was great to add them to our Otago carpentry team.

For the three-day format, we reduced the number of contact hours per day so that we ran from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. This gave our attendees with family commitments the ability to experience the whole workshop, and also meant that attendees with other work demands were still able to clock up some “productive hours” after the workshop finished each day. To better fit the three-day format we also adjusted the order of our material a little - rather than teaching Unix shell, R and Git as discrete modules, we split the Shell and Git lessons into two, and gave an intro to these topics on day one, then spent all of day two on R, then returned to Shell and Git on day three, finishing with R functions at the very end. The goal was to show how all of the topics could link together as part of a single workflow - we didn’t quite get it right (next time we’ll use a single example that runs through all the modules), but it has definitely given us “food for thought” for our next Software Carpentry offering. The feedback overall was very positive, and there was certainly an improvement over our previous workshops, in particular with regards to pace, delivery and dealing with technical issues."

Read more about favourite moments, lessons learned and final outcomes here.