Expanding Our Bootcamp Types

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

Prompted by a recent email I gave some thought to our plans to expand the types of bootcamps we offer, especially when it comes to a sort of "next level" bootcamp and whether we might offer bootcamps that introduce traditional software developers to the world of scientific programming:

There is significant discussion on the best way to expand Software Carpentry. Longer bootcamps, advanced bootcamps, etc. At some point we need to start actually experimenting with these things, but we have many constraints, most notably a severe shortage of person-hours to devote to developing curriculum and staffing events. Scientists, it turns out, are very busy people!

We focus on teaching software engineering to scientists, but I think it would be an interesting experiment to try to identify the overlapping interests of Software Carpentry graduates and web developers and run a bootcamp based on that. I could see people getting a lot out of the co-mingling at such an event.

Picking curriculum could be a challenge. Do we keep it general or pick a subfield? Even in our regular bootcamps we find it useful to change lessons based on the audience. Biologists are into SQL, physicists more interested in fast numeric processing. And the more specific we make things the fewer people we interest. My mind goes immediately to scientific Python but then that's my specialty.

If you have thoughts on what to teach in a "next level" boot camp please leave them in the comments, and if you'd like to host one please get in touch!

Dialogue & Discussion

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