Progress Towards The Carpentries 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

Read on to learn about our strategic plan progress through Q3 2020 (July - September)

In early June we shared a summary of the work to be completed in year one of our 2020-2025 strategic plan (see this blog post). I enjoy reflecting on our progress because it is a continuous reminder of how strong and vibrant our community is. Read on to learn what we have accomplished as a result of your engagement, and what is to come in the next two quarters.

Strategic Plan Progress Updates by Team

Business Operations

The Carpentries Business Team has successfully piloted a quarterly budget workflow that helps us anticipate our income and expenses. Additionally, our Capacity Building project gave us space to explore revenue generation models and develop a fundraising plan. We documented all of our current Memorandums of Understanding, and developed a wish-list for in-kind support that will be shared with the community very soon. Can you say, “Carpentries Philanthropy”?

Community Development and Engagement

The Community Development Team has developed the first Community Facilitators Program Module: Feedback Facilitation! We were delighted to receive so many applications for the program, and are happy to have collaborated with the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement (CSCCE). Our first cohort of facilitators will be onboarded this month.

Additionally, The Carpentries engagement strategy for Southern Africa is complete, and we are writing a thorough retrospective to understand areas of growth and improvement. Thank you to our instructors and learners who participated in the 10 workshops we ran virtually for the region!


Community member, Angelia Li shared her experience as a Maintainer, and through her role as Maintainer Community Lead, we were able to develop extensive documentation to onboard and support our maintainers. We welcomed 23 new maintainers for each of our lesson programs! Additionally, we launched the new help wanted page, providing a list of issues in need of help, from Data Carpentry, Library Carpentry, Software Carpentry, The Carpentries, and the Carpentries Incubator GitHub repositories. Thank you in advance for your engagement!

Executive Team

I cannot say enough about how much we have learned through our work ensuring we are fully compliant with privacy laws, including GDPR and CCPA. This process has helped us clarify how our data is processed, and develop high standards for security practices to protect our infrastructure and our data. We will be communicating clearly and transparently with our community about these updates very soon, and informing both our Core Team and community of how to work with personal data, and to use good security practices to keep their systems safe.

Additionally, we have documented all of the lessons we have learned hiring team members who live outside the U.S. The Carpentries is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization out of California (USA). U.S. non-profits have restrictions on hiring outside the country, so it was important for us to understand how we can do so legally and equitably, as we are committed to empowering a global Core Team. We have successfully worked with Velocity Global, and updated our hiring workflows to account for the lessons we have learned.


Our infrastructure team supports each and every program, and infrastructure work often goes hand-in-hand with each major program in The Carpentries. To support our strategic objectives that are curriculum and workshops related, the infrastructure team established templates and guidelines for collaborative lesson development, and introduced scaffolding for online workshops. Additionally, the team has explored design principles for the next iteration of The Carpentries lesson template.

Instructor Training

Our move to online workshops was monumental, and with it came changes to many workflows and processes. To support our instructors, the Instructor Training Team developed a “bonus module” to train instructors how to teach in a virtual environment: Introduction to online training practices for current Instructors. I participated in the pilot of this module, and I have to say, it helped me so much in my preparation to teach a virtual workshop for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). With the onboarding of new trainers, we look forward to continuing to build capacity for teaching workshops!


Thanks to the continued support of IMLS we are in the process of onboarding 5 new member organisations: Texas State Library and Archives Commission, California State University San Marcos, Lebanon Public Libraries, Ohio State University Library, and California State University Humboldt. These new member organisations will participate in a new onboarding pilot that we are launching over the next few months.

Workshop Administration

Piloting workshops online taught us so many things about our workflow for recruiting instructors, and it also gave us a way to reach learners who would otherwise not be able to participate in workshops. The Workshop Administration Team continues to revise its workflows for transparency and accessibility with the goal of improving the accessibility and sign-up workflows for teaching workshops.

Get In Touch

The Carpentries year one strategic plan project is located on GitHub. Deliverables have been shared via GitHub issues with labels identifying which team is leading the work, which strategic goal the work addresses, and in which quarter(s) the work is intended to take place.

Get in touch or comment directly in the GitHub issues to share your thoughts on our progress and path forward!

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