Apply for Carpentries Maintainer Onboarding!

Welcoming new and existing Lesson Maintainers to the community!

We are excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for anyone interested in becoming a Carpentries Lesson Maintainer!

Maintainers sustain our lessons and curricula over the long run, and we are looking forward to bringing on a new cohort of Maintainers to support our lessons. Additionally, we are opening up Maintainer Onboarding to existing Maintainers who wish to further advance their skills to better serve their lessons.

Our goals are to support Maintainers with training to successfully manage their lessons. Additionally, we hope to better serve those who contribute to lessons by encouraging timely response to their contributions. Finally, we hope to build out the Maintainer community through more regular onboarding.

What do Maintainers do?

The Carpentries Maintainers work with the community to make sure that lessons stay up-to-date, accurate, functional and cohesive. They monitor their lesson repository, make sure that PRs and Issues are addressed in a timely manner, and participate in the lesson development cycle including lesson releases. They endeavour to be welcoming and supportive of contributions from all members of the community.

To learn about Maintainer responsibilities, please take a look at the Maintainers section of the Carpentries handbook.

Why become a Maintainer?

There are many reasons to become a lesson Maintainer, but here are a few reasons we think you may be interested:

  1. Contribute back to the Carpentries community in a sustainable way. Because Lesson Maintenance can be done on your own timeline, being a Lesson Maintainer can be a flexible way to incorporate contributing to the Carpentries into your schedule.
  2. Learn new skills. Being a Lesson Maintainer is a great way to enhance your Git skills and learn how to manage an open source project. These skills are transferable to your research and work outside of The Carpentries.
  3. Welcome others to the community. You and your co-Maintainers will interact with new contributors and can make lesson contribution a positive process for others.
  4. Get credit for your work on our lessons. As a Lesson Maintainer, you will be listed as an editor on the published lesson and can include the citation on your personal CV.

What it will take to be badged as a Maintainer?

To become a Lesson Maintainer, we ask for you to complete the following:

  • Prepare for and attend four weekly meetings, starting in May, for Maintainer Onboarding.
  • Process issues and pull requests on your assigned lesson at least on a weekly basis - we strongly encourage you to respond to issues and PRs within two days.
  • Attend monthly Maintainer meetings and/or actively participate with the Maintainer community asynchronously through email, Slack and/or Github.

We are giving priority to lessons that need additional Maintainer support, which are marked as high-priority in the Maintainer application. We hope to bring on a diverse cohort of Maintainers; however, please keep in mind that we may not be able to onboard everyone in this session. We may run another session in the future if there are a large number of applications.

Additionally, we encourage you to have taught the lesson you plan to Maintain, or to be familiar with the lesson material.

After Maintainers have been onboarded, we expect to see regular activity from new Maintainers for at least 3 months following the Onboarding, after which you will be awarded a Maintainer badge and have the option of appearing on the Maintainers page of our website.

What will Maintainer Onboarding be like?

We are still in the process of revising the Maintainer Onboarding curriculum, but we will likely have a weekly 1-hour meeting for four weeks during May and June, scheduled at two alternative times by polling the group. There will be weekly homework and mini-assignments to ensure that new Maintainers are comfortable with the responsibilities and skills needed for lesson maintenance.

Apply now!

Applications for Maintainer Onboarding are open to new and existing Maintainers. Note that we will give priority to recruiting and training Maintainers for lessons that need additional support.

If you are interested in joining us as a Lesson Maintainer, please apply here by April 30, 2020, midnight in your local time!


We will be discussing New Maintainer Onboarding at our regular Maintainer meeting times on April 15, 2020 to address any questions you may have. Please find more information and sign up on this Etherpad if you are interested in joining.

Please reach out to Angela Li, Maintainer Community Lead, at ali6 [at] with any additional questions you may have about this onboarding.

Spread the word!

If there are individuals in your community who you think would be interested in becoming a Maintainer, please share this information with them. Thank you!

Dialogue & Discussion

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