An Update on Our Sprint Plans

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

Plans for our two-day sprint in July are coming together: full details are being compiled on our Etherpad, but we hope the summary below will give you a taste of what we're hoping to do.


The goals of our global two-day sprint are to write and build useful things, and to strengthen ties within the open science community by giving people a chance to work together. Work will begin on the morning of Tuesday, July 22 in New Zealand and Australia. As they are starting to wind up for the day, their colleagues in Europe will come online; they'll hand off to people in North and South America, who will in turn hand off to the Western Pacific, and around we'll go again. Groups will keep normal hours—no all-nighters, please—but by the time we wrap up, we'll have been working for 30 hours straight.

What We'll Be Doing

Anything related to teaching and doing open science is welcome to join the sprint—the only requirements are that there be something concrete to start with (because experience shows that starting with a blank screen is a good way to spend two days going in circles), and that someone volunteer to coordinate the work. Projects currently on our roster include adding domain-specific capstone examples to Software Carpentry, introducing scientists to testing and code review, building some administrative infrastructure to help coordinate workshops, and more. If you'd like to propose a project, please add it to the Etherpad, and mail us so that we can help advertise it.

How to Take Part

Mozilla is providing space for the sprint at its offices in Paris, London, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, and San Francisco; other groups are arranging space in Auckland, Melbourne, Edinburgh, Tallahassee (Florida), East Lansing (Michigan), Norman (Oklahoma), and Austin (Texas), and we hope to add more to the Etherpad. Each site will connect to the others via video conferencing so that teams can see and hear one another; groups working on specific projects may be co-located, spread across several sites, or some mix of both. Local organizers will arrange network access and coffee, and point people who don't know the area in the right direction for lunch and after-hours meet-ups.

If you would like to take part, please sign up under one of the site headings below, and mail us ( or so that we can send you details. And if you would like to be a host, please let us know—there are almost certainly other people in your area who'd like to take part as well, and we'd be happy to connect you.

Project Ideas

If you would like to suggest a project and coordinate work on it, please add it to the Etherpad.

  • Domain-specific capstone examples for Software Carpentry
    • Astrophysics
    • Bioinformatics
    • Medical imaging
  • Introducing scientists to testing and code review
  • Translate novice Software Carpentry lessons into Spanish
  • Browsercast
  • A web-based tool for peer instruction
  • IPython notebook "training wheels" profile for Software Carpentry
  • Data Carpentry lessons
    • Using Excel more effectively and knowing its limitations
    • Social science materials for Data Carpentry
    • Text analysis in R using tm for Data Carpentry
    • Getting data in and out of R
  • Mining the scientific literature
    • Using tools
  • Better instructions on using/navigating Software Carpentry lesson material
  • Data visualization lessons for Python and R

Projects still looking for leaders

  • Bootcamp notification service
    • A webpage where anyone can enter their location + radius and be notified when there is a bootcamp announced nearby
  • Turtle graphics in the IPython Notebook:
  • An end-to-end data analysis tutorial
    • Start with a messy version of the Belly Button Biodiversity data
    • Clean it up using OpenRefine and scripts to show people what a real data pipeline looks like
  • A lesson package manager
  • Intermediate Software Carpentry lesson on regular expressions
  • Intermediate Software Carpentry lesson on using Make to manage data pipelines


Auckland Melbourne Tallahassee, Florida
Paris London East Lansing, Michigan
Edinburgh New York City Austin, Texas
Toronto Vancouver Norman, Oklahoma
San Francisco

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