Introducing The Carpentries Director of Technology, Dr Rob Davey

The Carpentries welcomes Rob Davey, Director of Technology

We are pleased to welcome Dr Rob Davey to The Carpentries Core Team! Rob is joining us as the Director of Technology. In this role he will manage the technical requirements for The Carpentries’ programmatic and administrative teams to ensure that The Carpentries provides an accessible and inclusive experience for our community members. Rob will also lead The Carpentries data privacy and security efforts, and provide strategic direction for improvements to the technology stack used in our work. We are ecstatic to welcome Rob to the team!

Rob comes from the life science world, where he led the development and strategic planning of a range of software tools and computational infrastructure environments to manage and analyse biological data. His research focused on representing and contextualising data so that it can be used, reused and shared more widely and easily. He strongly advocates for open source, open science, and FAIR data and software.

We asked Rob to share a bit about himself - read on to learn more!

I started my academic undergraduate career as a potential microbiologist in 1998 but quickly realised that my interests were more aligned with how data is produced and analysed. I studied for and completed my PhD in Computer Science in 2006 where I developed specific (and almost immediately obsolete following the advent of Next Generation Sequencing!) algorithms for analysing microarray data. I then went on to develop tools for analysing the difficult-to-sequence ribosomal DNA tandem repeat regions in yeast. I really enjoy developing software and best practice, and inspiring others to do the same.

Most recently I was the Head of Research e-Infrastructure at the Earlham Institute (EI) in Norwich, UK, where I have worked since 2012. My role focused on leading a team of Research Software Engineers (RSEs) to develop data management software and best practice, guiding our research strategy for data, and technical planning of our cloud and HPC infrastructure.

I have been involved in The Carpentries efforts since 2014 where I helped teach my first Software Carpentry course with Aleksandra Pawlik. It became clear to me very quickly that The Carpentries materials and pedagogy were far better than any courses I had taken or delivered in the past! This drove me to take the Instructor and subsequently Trainer Training. I especially enjoy teaching Carpentries modules around Unix, python and R, as well as the mindset and feedback modules of Instructor Training.

I firmly believe that programming and science can and should be accessible to everyone, and that coding is not only practised by wizards! With good guidance and an inclusive environment where mistakes are encouraged and success is personal, everyone can enjoy building and using computational skills. This is why I am so excited by this role at The Carpentries - I hope to deliver the infrastructure and technology to support the work of this organisation I’ve had the pleasure to be involved with.

I’m based in Norwich in the UK, and enjoy coding, making and producing music, video and board gaming, roasting coffee, and spending time with my family and two dogs, Baxter and Fred. You can read my academic back catalogue on ORCID, and you can find me on The Carpentries Slack, GitHub, Twitter, and Mastodon (

Please do get in touch - I’m very much looking forward to getting involved with the community!

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