NZ Carpentries Community Call - A recap

On 11 March, NeSI’s new Training Coordinator, Megan Guidry, gathered Carpentries instructors, helpers, and training enthusiasts from around NZ for a one-hour Carpentries Community Call.

The Carpentries project comprises the Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry communities who share a mission to teach foundational computational and data science skills to researchers.

Megan is the new Regional Coordinator for the NZ Carpentries Community, and in this role will be helping facilitate regional and national Carpentries activities and community-building. It has been more than a year since New Zealand has benefitted from a focused Carpentries administrator, so this call was an opportunity for the community to build a relationship with each other and their newest supporter.

After introductions, Jonah Duckles, Director of Membership and Technology at The Carpentries, presented a brief history of The Carpentries, and a local Carpentries instructor, Aleksandra Pawlik, shared a reflection on past Carpentries events in NZ.

Both presentations showed that although NZ has the densest Carpentries instructor community in the world (by population), it is still difficult to keep event numbers up from year to year. To find out why, the Community Call attendees were asked: “What prevents you from running, teaching, or participating in a workshop?”

Participants broke into discussion groups, and then reconvened to share their findings. Responses ranged from ‘Instructors do not have enough time during the semester’ and ‘Burnout’ to ‘I did not know I could organise an event myself’.

Overall, participants said they felt that increased awareness of what Carpentries events are happening in NZ would greatly benefit the community.

For now, anyone who wants to stay updated on Carpentries events in NZ can email or sign up to the Australia / New Zealand Carpentries topicbox. Also, Megan will be hosting more Community Calls in the future, and details of the next call will be announced once confirmed.

To view a recording of the March Community Call, visit NeSI’s YouTube Channel.