First online Carpentries workshop midst the COVID-19 pandemic

– Author: Mieke Hofmeyr

COVID-19 has changed the scope of the world and business as we know it in just a few months. Needless to say all business practices, including workshops needed to be adapted to this new climate and reality. On May 5th – May 7th SADiLaR collaborated with The Carpentries on hosting a workshop focused on equipping graduate students and researchers with the necessary data skills to conduct efficient research. Angelique van Rensburg, head of the new Carpentries Task Force aimed at hosting online, remote workshops, talks about this workshop.

“COVID-19 pandemic has halted any in-person Carpentries workshops, so we piloted the recommendations of the COVID-19 Repose Task Force,” says Angelique

She says that the main goal of The Carpentries is to teach in-person workshops around the world on the foundational skills to work effectively and reproducibly with data and code.

“Our workshops are inclusive and hands-on, empowering students to learn new skills and build confidence in using them in their work. “

This new Task Force aim to continue providing these workshops to students and researchers in need of these tools, but on an online platform in order to reach an audience that is worldwide. This particular workshop was attended by research staff from SADiLaR, faculty and postgraduate students from Universities in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Angelique mentioned that they learned a lot from this workshop regarding their future of hosting online workshops.

“We learnt a lot from this experience and will be adapting our workshops from 3 full days to a week of morning sessions.”

Currently, The Carpentries and SADiLaR are organising another workshop that will take place from 1-5 June 2020.