Edinburgh Carpentries

The Carpentries at Edinburgh

Edinburgh Carpentries (EdCarp) is a local community of instructors and volunteers of The Carpentries mainly at the University of Edinburgh. Our instructors are trained volunteers, who deliver workshops about introductory coding and coding best practices, specifically targeted at academics. The Carpentries workshops are suitable for complete beginners.

Developing data skills in the life sciences

The Ed-DaSH homepage has more information on how to get Data Driven Life Science Skills Development: Equipping Society For The Future (Ed-DaSH), a project funded by UKRI and MRC. If you want to know more please visit those pages which also include some newer workshop listings.

The Carpentries

The Carpentries teaches foundational computational, coding, and data science skills to researchers worldwide with no or minimal prior programming knowledge who find themselves increasingly having to write code to conduct their work. In the UK, the Carpentry programme was first endorsed by the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI), which still provide support for running and organising workshops and recruiting instructors from the wider UK Carpentry community.

The Carpentries project was formed in January 2018 by formally merging Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry. There are now many more new and emerging Carpentries, such as Library Carpentry and HPC Carpentry, which are all coming together under the umbrella of The Carpentries. These are all communities of practice - consisting of volunteer instructors, trainers, maintainers, helpers, and supporters who all share a mission to teach scientists best practices in writing clean, reproducible and robust code.

Software Carpentry (since early 2000s) focuses on conveying the best practices in programming and writing clean, reproducible and robust code to analyse data regardless of the tools used. In general, topics that are covered by the core Software Carpentry curriculum include:

  • Automating repetitive tasks - using UNIX Shell
  • Code version control, sharing and collaboration - using git/GitHub or Mercurial
  • An introduction to programming and best practices - using R or Python

Data Carpentry (since 2014) teaches particular and recommended open source tools to do reproducible and scalable data analysis. In general, topics that are covered by the core Data Carpentry curriculum include:

  • Best practices in data organisation using spreadsheets
  • Data cleaning - using OpenRefine
  • Data management with SQL
  • Data analysis and visualisation - using R or Python


Read more about the history of Software and Data Carpentry.


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