Changing Our Core Curriculum

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

We currently say that people must teach task automation, structured programming, version control, and unit testing in order to use the Software Carpentry name. However, many bootcamps either don't teach unit testing at all, or only cover it briefly, while many of us teach data management using SQL, which also seems like a core lab skill for scientific computing. We asked instructors this week whether we should formalize the change, and they responded as follows:

21Not include either (i.e., have only three requirements)
12Leave things as they are
11Include both (i.e., have five requirements)
9Either unit testing or data management
8Replace "unit testing" with "data management"


  1. "Either/or" wasn't an option on the survey, but several people wrote it in.
  2. Six people suggested that we should replace "unit testing" with "some kind of testing", but this comment overlapped with other categories pretty evenly.

We'll discuss this at our next lab meeting on April 24; we look forward to hearing from you all then.

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