I found the Software Carpentry opportunity to be very exciting as a graduate student. I mean, I got to fly across the country with one of my advisors and see California for the first time. In California, we were put up in a really nice Residence Inn Marriott hotel. We had a rental car to travel around to the places we needed to be. We walked in to the classroom at Scripps around 8:30 and had a room full of 40 attentive students waiting for our instruction by 9. And it was all free for me.
I also want to express how surprising the entire process was for our host Andrew Su. He was shocked at the “altruistic” nature of SWC. Titus and Tracy, the instructors, were not compensated in any way for the 16+ hours of teaching they gave at Scripps. I’m not sure which aspects of the trip were covered by Scripps and which were covered by Titus’s own funding.. That would be interesting to know.
Basically, my comment on SWC as a project is that it is an excellent system which targets a specific need. It’s based on the honest desire of a few dozen scientists to better computational knowledge and skills in the science community to improve science as a whole. And it actually works.
If you’re interested in holding a SWC bootcamp or in teaching a bootcamp, here are some tips on how to get started.