Curriculum Development Goals For the Rest of 2018

What we're planning to accomplish for our lessons in the rest of the year.

As we are entering the last quarter of 2018, and following up on our Curriculum Development Vision post, we want to outline plans for the rest of the year and the beginning of 2019. We plan to post regular updates on curriculum development plans as updates and calls for participation in particular activities or teaching updated materials. For each set of curriculum there are Curriculum Advisory Committees and there is an overall Lesson Infrastructure Committee. If you are interested in being involved in lesson activities, please check out the issues on any of the lessons, send an email to, or join one of the lesson-specific email lists for more information or questions.

Plans for the 4th Quarter of 2018

The R Genomics lesson

Data Carpentry initially published a curriculum for Genomics in November 2017. That workshop covers tabular metadata organization in spreadsheets, an introduction to the Unix bash shell, FASTQ file processing with bash scripting, and connecting to AWS cloud instances. The Genomics Curriculum Advisory Committee, Maintainers, and a task force of other community contributors are now preparing to publish a new version of this curriculum that includes data analysis and visualization in R. For this new version, the shell lessons will be simplified to free up time for the R lesson. This new release will correspond with an update to the existing lessons to transition to longer-read data and a more modern aligner. These lessons should be ready for teaching in early 2019.

Clarifying process for recurring releases of existing lessons

We have historically re-released all published Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry lessons periodically to give credit to new contributors and provide a stable DOI for the updated lessons. As our lesson stack has grown, it has become more time-consuming to publish lessons using our existing process, making it prohibitive to release lessons in a timely manner. During the last quarter of 2018, a group from the Lesson Infrastructure committee will be revamping our process for periodic lesson releases to ensure that we are able to continue to publish all of our lessons at regular intervals. With this new process, we hope to restart regular lesson publications in the first quarter of 2019.

Lesson onboardings

The first series of Geospatial onboardings is now complete. Thirty-eight people attended these sessions! A video recorded version of the onboarding is now available. If you missed the onboardings, but are interested in teaching these lessons you can watch this video to help you prepare. There are already five Geospatial pilot workshops scheduled, with more in the works! We’ll continue to get feedback on the lessons through the pilots.

Onboardings for the Social Science curriculum are now beginning, and you can sign up for the onboarding on [this Etherpad] ( A recorded onboarding for this curriculum will be available after 9 November.

Once the updated Genomics lessons are released, we will also start onboarding sessions for these lessons.

The Data Carpentry Geospatial, Social Science, and Genomics Curriculum Advisory Committees, contributors, and mMintainers have done an amazing job developing these lessons from conceptualization to documentation and exercises. Overall there have been hundreds of contributors to these lessons, and this important work will continue as onboardings and pilots continue.

Lesson template

The Lesson Infrastructure committee will be continuing to work will continue on updating the lesson template. This includes integrating feedback on useful features such as exercises that can be separated from lessons and other proposed improvements. We will also be undertaking a large-scale re-envisioning of the lesson template, to make it more flexible and easy-to-use. This project has been funding by the R consortium and is described in this proposal.

Tentative Plans for the 1st Quarter of 2019

Data Carpentry Social Sciences Python and SQL

There are “alpha” versions of the lessons for Python and SQL for the Data Carpentry Social Science curriculum. We will work with the community to make these lessons ready for an initial publication in early 2019.

Library Carpentry

On the path of Library Carpentry incubation as a Lesson Program within The Carpentries, we will work with the Library Carpentry Curriculum Advisory Committee and maintainers on releasing officially an initial set of lessons. The lessons that will be included in this initial release will be decided by the end of 2018.

Data Carpentry Geospatial and Social Sciences R

Over the past several months, Instructors have been running pilot workshops for these new curricula. We have been collecting feedback from Instructors and learners at these pilots and will be working with the Maintainers and Curriculum Advisors for these lessons to incorporate this feedback for a new release of these lessons in mid-2019.


To accompany the releases of the Data Carpentry Python and SQL Social Sciences and the Library Carpentry lessons, we will organize onboarding for these curricula.

Lessons Curriculum

Dialogue & Discussion