When we set out to ask The Carpentries community for input on August 1, we spelled out the rationale of The Carpentries Values project in this way:
Shared values and goals have long been the starting point of communities of practice as they identify changes they want to see and start working together towards these changes. The Carpentries started out with a clear goal - teaching foundational computational skills to researchers worldwide. Something that is also important and unique about our community is how we work and engage with each other. As a community, values are important to us and we consider that we have a set of shared values. However, we have not yet articulated what these values are.
The Executive Council did some preliminary work on this at their in-person meeting in 2018, and The Carpentries team has also done some exercises in this regard.
To be truly reflective of the community however, we believe that it is important for community involvement to be an integral part of creating these value statements for The Carpentries. We want to get feedback from you, our community, particularly on what matters to you. We intend to use this information to inform and create a beta draft of a set of value statements for The Carpentries.
So far, we have received an average of one response a day to the first two questions we posed, and are eager to hear from the rest of you in our community. Here’s how respondents envision members of The Carpentries community:
bar chart above and word cloud below summarising responses to question 1 of The Carpentries Values project
We also asked you to tell us what you make of The Carpentries community culture. Many of the responses to this second question expound on positive feedback shared under question one. Among other things, respondents point to
a ‘people-first’ approach to all things community in The Carpentries,
a deep-seated interest for knowledge acquisition and exchange,
timely support for learners and instructors in and beyond Carpentries workshops, and
the cultural diversity
as some of the notable aspects of our community culture.
We especially appreciate that this second question has also allowed room for candour, as community members have highlighted areas The Carpentries community can improve on. Here’s some of what we have read from you so far:
Welcoming, and seeking to improve. Inspiring and willing to share. Sometimes too excitable about new things when time should be spent fixing long-running problems.
Enthusiastic and helpful, keen to assist. It’s still intimidating though!
The community is supportive, inclusive and welcoming but can occasionally seem a little rigid.
We value this feedback and encourage you to keep sharing.
Today, we are sharing the third and final question we would like you to give us feedback on as part of The Carpentries Values project. Having shared your perceptions of our community by answering questions 1 and 2, we are keen to know what specific actions you’d like to see our community take up or continue with in everyday Carpentries interactions going forwards.
From your understanding of our community culture and the demeanour of individuals that constitute The Carpentries, what specific actions would you like The Carpentries community to take up or uphold in everyday Carpentries conversations going forwards?
This could be anything that has added value to your learning process and contributed to your personal and professional growth as a member of The Carpentries community, such as knowledge sharing by writing blog posts, empowering others by sharing open opportunities and answering questions kindly and in a timely fashion, etc
Please share your responses by filling this Google Form, contributing to our discussions in The Carpentries Conversations repository or under this message on TopicBox. Questions one and two remain open and we welcome you to answer them if you haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet.