Gratitude to the Growing Trainer Community


The origins of the Trainer Community as we know it today can be traced back to 2012 when Greg Wilson invited a handful of experienced Software Carpentry Instructors to improve their teaching skills as part of a multi-week, online reading group and training course. Within a year, about 50 instructors completed the course to become certified Software Carpentry Instructors. In 2014, the first 3-day instructor training workshop was hosted in Toronto, Canada. Transitioning the course from weeks to days didn’t go as smoothly as Greg hoped, but Warren Code provided a lot of valuable advice that was used to refine the material, and by the end of 2014, the instructor training curriculum had the basic structure that is used today (1, 2, 3). In 2015, Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry began using the same curriculum to train new instructors, and this set the stage for transforming the curricula to serve train all future Carpentries Instructors. At this point in time, the demand for workshops was rapidly increasing and it was clear that our community needed a process for training new trainers.

142 people have contributed to the Instructor Training Curriculum since 2013! To view the full list of contributors, visit the Instructor Training repository under The Carpentries organisation on GitHub at

In 2016, about a dozen people to become Certified Trainers, and many of them worked collaboratively during a Bug BBQ, organised by François Michonneau, to get the Instructor Training Curriculum ready for its first official release as a published lesson (1). The trainer training combined with collaborative lesson development really set the stage for building a community of Trainers. In 2017, Erin Becker and Maneesha Sane, and later Karen Word, began growing and leading the Training community. In 2018 and 2019, Karen Word, Christina Koch, and Rayna Harris served as maintainers of the curriculum and hosts of the popular monthly Trainer meetings were Trainers from all over the world meet to discuss all things related to organising Instructor Training workshops and building local communities. For 2020, you can look forward to seeing an addition of new leadership positions within the Trainer Community and a continued refinement of the Instructor Training curriculum to better suit the needs over our diverse, global communities.

In 2017, we began listing the names of all Trainers in the GitHub repository The list was updated in 2018 and 2019, so from the commit history, we were able to approximate the years of service from each Trainer.

When and Where

The trainers meet virtually on the first Thursday of every month (and occasionally on the 3rd Thursdays), but many Trainers meet up in small groups throughout the year to plan and teach in-person and online Instructor Training workshops. The Maintainers and leaders of the Instructor Training Curriculum almost meet twice a month to 1) discuss Pull Requests (PRs) and Issues, 2) plan the monthly meetings for the Trainers, 3) and discuss business related to the Trainer Community. Most, if not all of the Trainers, wear multiple hats within the community, also serving as instructors, maintainers, mentors, and regional coordinators or sitting on a variety of committees and task forces. We are grateful for their contributions across the globe and across the organisation.

Greenstickies: We are especially grateful to our Trainers

We are grateful to Brian Ballsun-Stanton, Claire Hardgrove, Kerensa McElroy, Benjamin Schwessinger, Nicholas Tierney, Darya Vanichkina, Alistair Walsh, Belinda Weaver, Masami Yamaguchi, Paula Martinez, Arindam Basu, Mik Black, Murray Cadzow, Jonah Duckles, and Aleksandra Pawlik for helping build community in Australia and New Zealand.

We are grateful to Caroline Ajilogba, Saymore Chifamba, Martin Dreyer, Samar Salah Mohamedahmed Elsheikh, Senzo Mpungose, Juan Steyn, Katrin Tirok, Anelda van der Walt, Jessica Upani, Mesfin Diro, Dagim, Yoseph Mengesha, Chris Prince Udochukwu Njoku, SherAaron Hurt, Sue McClatchy, Malvika Sharan, and Jason Williams for building community in Ethiopia, Namibia, Nigeria, and South Africa.

We are grateful to Paula Martinez, Konrad Förstner, Toby Hodges, Malvika Sharan Fotis Psomopoulos, Allegra Via, Mateusz Kuzak, Anita Schürch, Ana Costa Conrado, Anne Fouilloux, Karin Lagesen, and Lex Nederbragt for building communities of instructor trainers in Europe.

We are grateful to Laura Acion, Nicolas Palopoli, Erin Becker, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Rayna Harris, Paula Martinez, Sue McClatchy, Malvika Sharan, Tracy Teal, Greg Wilson, and Karen Word for helping build community in Latin America.

We are grateful to Anne Axel, Erin Becker, Sarah Brown, Reed Cartwright, Guilherme Castelao, Karen Cranston, Neal Davis, Tim Dennis, Vanessa Gonzalez, Chris Hamm, Rayna Harris, Mike Henry, Kate Hertweck, Amy Hodge, SherAaron Hurt, Erick Jankowski, Kari Jordan, Christina Koch, Mark Laufersweiler, Sue McClatchy, Francois Michonneau, Jeffrey Oliver, Sarah Pugachev, David Pugh, Ariel Rokem, Maneesha Sane, Juliane Schneider, Sarah Stevens, Tracy Teal, Elizabeth Wickes, Elizabeth Williams, Jason Williams, Karen Word, Naupaka Zimmerman, Cam Macdonell, Danielle Quinn, John Simpson, and Greg Wilson for building community in North America.

We are grateful to Tania Allard, Martin Callaghan, Gerard Capes, Steve Crouch, Rob Davey, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Alexander Konovalov, Kwasi Amoako Kwakwa, Katerina Michalickova, Aleksandra Nenadic, David Perez Suarez, and Greg Wilson for building Instructor training communities in the United Kingdom.

Finally, thanks to everyone who has contributed to the growth of the Trainer Community and Instructor Training Curriculum.


  1. Christina Koch and Greg Wilson (eds): “Software Carpentry: Instructor Training.” Version 2016.06, May 2016.
  2. Christina Koch and Greg Wilson (eds): “Software Carpentry: Instructor Training.” Version 2017.02, Feb 2017.
  3. Rayna Harris, Christina Koch and Karen Word (eds): “Carpentries: Instructor Training.” Version 2019.06, June 2019.

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