Honoring François Michonneau - Senior Director of Technology

In this post, we reflect on Dr. François Michonneau’s time at The Carpentries on his last day

François is exceptionally gifted and a phenomenal leader. On his last day, we share some of his wonderful accomplishments over the past 4+ years.

François joined The Carpentries in 2018 as Curriculum Development Lead in an effort to scale our collaboratively developed curriculum, though he was no stranger to the community. François has been a Data and Software Carpentry community member since 2014, serving in multiple roles including Maintainer, Instructor, and Trainer. As Curriculum Development Lead, he co-organised Data Carpentry’s first Bug BBQ, developed GitHub labels for The Carpentries lessons, and was instrumental in publishing Data Carpentry’s Social Sciences lessons. He has provided strategic oversight for The Carpentries lesson infrastructure, advising on the technical and community engagement aspects of this work. His expertise has proven invaluable in preparing several grant applications and engaging with potential partners. For example, François co-led the Carpentries Lab grant proposal development and implementation funded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). Additionally, he was co-PI on our CZI grant to advance The Carpentries equity, inclusion, and accessibility goals, helping to secure $399,300 over 24 months.

As Senior Director of Technology and member of the Executive Team, François has exceeded my expectations. He navigated our journey towards compliance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), working directly with legal counsel to update and develop new privacy policies for The Carpentries. We also have François to thank for improved anonymity of our workshop survey data and upgrades to our Etherpad server, among other achievements.

We value François’ ability to implement technical solutions for our infrastructure, and how he collaborates in a way that fosters trust among his peers. François’ leadership and guidance were instrumental in the accessibility improvements across The Carpentries websites and lesson templates. Additionally, François developed a roadmap for the Infrastructure Team that has improved transparency and provides a plan for ongoing improvements. The Carpentries has seen minimal interruption in its services due to the infrastructure development work that François accomplished in his tenure. Technical alerts and monitoring have allowed the Infrastructure Team to identify early failures and ensure the organisation is able to continue providing services to the global community.

François embodies The Carpentries Core Values, and is often the first to submit contributions to collaborative projects. He is proud to have brought the Glosario project to The Carpentries community. Core Team members describe François as supportive, responsive, creative, encouraging, tactful, and an engaged thought partner. François, thank you for leading the Infrastructure Team and its projects - improving The Carpentries processes and the user experience of our community members.

François’ legacy at The Carpentries is his vision for curriculum development, including training with our curriculum development handbook, improved lesson infrastructure, and new pathways for lesson contributions. His leadership has positioned us to pioneer collaborative, accessible curriculum development - François, we salute you!

A message from Dr. François Michonneau

It has been a pleasure to work at The Carpentries. I have truly enjoyed the 4.5 years as a Core Team member, and will soon return where my journey with The Carpentries had started, as a volunteer community member.

Initially, I had joined Software Carpentry because I wanted to learn how to teach programming better. I attended the first Data Carpentry workshop and found a community who wanted to empower researchers with the skills they need to analyze their research data. After becoming an Instructor, a Maintainer, and a Trainer, I joined the Core Team in 2018 just after Software Carpentry, and Data Carpentry (and soon after Library Carpentry) merged under The Carpentries umbrella.

I have learned a lot during my time at The Carpentries, both from other Core Team members and from the whole community. Bringing together people from all over the world contributes to strengthening the mission and the impact of The Carpentries activities. I’m thankful for all these learning experiences and for the connections I made along the way.

There are a lot of big projects in The Carpentries’ future. The Core Team is stronger than ever, the Executive Team and the Executive Council have a clear vision for where The Carpentries is headed. I’m looking forward to seeing all these plans become a reality.

I’ll be starting a new role in a few weeks that combines things that are close to my heart: education, open-source, democratizing access to data, and where diversity is celebrated. You can stay in touch by following me on Twitter at @fmic_.

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