2017 Election: Karin Lagesen

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

2017 Election: Karin Lagesen

I have been a member of the Software Carpentry Steering Committee for two years, first as secretary and then as vice chair. My involvement with the SCF started in 2012, when I attended a workshop in Oslo, Norway. I signed on as an instructor in 2013 and became an instructor trainer this year. I have around 10 workshops, including instructor training, under my belt. As a member of the SC, I have mainly focused on Software Carpentry operations and on the development of instructor training and instructor trainers. In addition to serving on the Steering Committee, I am also a member of the mentoring committee. Although I have not been able to be as active in the mentoring committee this year, I have previously worked on developing programs focusing on integrating new instructors and on helping new instructors teach their first workshop.

I have a PhD in bioinformatics from the University of Oslo, and am currently employed at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute and the University of Oslo. My background is in both computer science and molecular biology. Since I have formal training in both fields, I am frequently the one to translate the biological problem into a computational one. I have often been called upon to teach people with little to no training in computer science how to do their bioinformatics analyses. This means introducing them to Unix, to command-line work and to basic programming. Working in such multi-disciplinary situations has made me very aware of how hard it can be to move into a field far removed from your core area of expertise. This makes the values and skills that Software Carpentry teaches particularly important to me.

If re-elected, I will focus on building and maintaining cohesiveness, consistency and continuity within Software Carpentry and its committees, as well as with other organizations. Software Carpentry is growing rapidly and is spreading through both new domains and geographic areas, and is facing great changes as a consequence. In addition, the Director of Instructor, the founder of Software Carpentry, Greg Wilson, has decided to leave the employ of the organization. We are also integrating new instructor trainers into Software Carpentry. Such transitions can be challenging, and I will work to provide continuity and consistency to the organization to ensure that things run smoothly. Last, but far from least, we are part of what has become a “Carpentries” ecosystem, and I believe that working together with and towards a common structure for the “Carpentries” would be of great benefit to all parties.

Feel free to contact me on Twitter (@karinlag) or by email (karin.lagesen@gmail.com). I occasionally blog at blog.karinlag.no.

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