2017 Election: Christina Koch

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

To begin, I present:

Notable events in Christina’s Software Carpentry career:

  • 2013-April: Graduate from grad school (Masters degree in mathematics).
  • 2013-May: Attend Software Carpentry workshop (and see git and Python for the first time).
  • 2014-January: Teach first Software Carpentry workshop.
  • 2014-March: First time travelling abroad for Software Carpentry.
  • 2014-May: Hear about a job through the Software Carpentry blog.
  • 2014-October: Get the job (which is still my job).
  • 2014-November: Become a lesson maintainer.
  • 2015-December: First time leading an instructor training.
  • 2016-January: Switch roles, from lesson maintainer to mentoring committee chair.
  • 2016-June: Teach first Data Carpentry workshop.

To this list, I would like to add:

  • 2016-December: Stand for the Software Carpentry steering committee.

And hopefully:

  • 2017-January: Begin serving on the Software Carpentry steering committee.

As you can see, Software Carpentry has meant a lot to me over the past 3-4 years. I’ve received so much from the community, and would now like to give back in a new way - as a member of the steering committee.

As a member of the steering committee, I would primarily aim to:

  • work together with my fellow committee-members, the Software Carpentry leadership, and the community at large to build a shared vision and direction for Software Carpentry.
  • create policies and structures that enable community members to realize this vision for Software Carpentry, providing both the freedom to try new things, and the necessary oversight to guide their efforts.

Personally, some of my visions and goals for Software Carpentry include:

  • Provide clear avenues for supporters and community members to connect with the Software Carpentry organization and with each other.
  • Maintain a pool of high-quality instructors and provide opportunities for instructors to share knowledge and grow in their teaching skills.
  • Initiate opportunities for community members to learn more about topics like accessibility, diversity, and discrimination.

However, I am most interested to hear what other members of the community value about Software Carpentry and what their goals would be for the organization and its members.

If you read the above timeline carefully, you’ll see that I went from my very first Python script and git repository to teaching other people in under a year. I’d be applying that same “get-started” motivation to my work on the steering committee - learning the ropes as quickly as possible so that I can direct my energy back towards the community right away.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to vote for me, or even better, to join me and stand for the steering committee yourself!

P.S. For those who are interested in knowing a little more about me, I work as a Research Computing Facilitator for the Center For High Throughput Computing at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I love to read, have recently gotten into knitting, and this winter, have tried my hand at curling for the first time. You can say hi or follow me on Twitter at @_christinaLK.

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