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West Hub Spotlight: An Update on The Carpentries

By David Jimenez, West Hub Intern

The Carpentries, an organization that teaches foundational coding and data science skills to researchers worldwide, has made notable strides in providing inclusive educational content for data and coding learners over the past year and looks forward to the upcoming year’s opportunities.

The Carpentries, an organization of educators and community champions, teaches foundational coding and data science skills - providing inclusive community-created resources. Here, we highlight some of their achievements. The Carpentries is fiscally sponsored by Community Initiatives, and comprises the Software Carpentry, Data Carpentry, and Library Carpentry lesson programs. The Carpentries’ vision is to be the leading inclusive community teaching data and coding skills, and they pursue this vision by building a community that promotes the importance of software and data in research.

To kick off 2023, The Carpentries published Image Processing with Python, which focuses on concepts and skills for automating pipelines with Python - explaining how to process large volumes of image data and how to extract information for downstream analysis. This step-by-step curriculum is great for those with introductory Python knowledge that are interested in expanding their skills on image processing.

“We are excited to build additional curriculum this year and also eager to facilitate workshops for those with little to no experience in coding,” said Dr. Kari L. Jordan, The Carpentries executive director and West Hub steering committee member. “Our plan for the upcoming months is to build on the past year’s activities and one example is our work with Jannetta Steyn at the University of Edinburgh.”

Recently named as The Carpentries Software Sustainability Institute Fellow, Steyn’s work uses Raspberry Pi computers to teach new users. She recently held an Internet of Things (IoT) workshop at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and summarized the experience for the Society of Research Software Engineering. Steyn welcomes institutions to contact her if they’re interested in similar workshops and can be reached at

Additional 2022 lessons and workshops reaching the data science learning community included an Open Source infrastructure to develop 100+ new lessons in The Carpentries Incubator. This goal was made possible with a new program of Collaborative Lesson Development Training, which teaches the skills needed to create an Open Source lesson website.

Another exciting development over the past year has been the initiative to continue building a more inclusive learning community with the African Carpentries Community (ACC) and other global members. The Carpentries worked with the community to translate data science terms from English in Glosario and this resulted in a useful multilingual glossary. Although Glosario is an international effort to translate data science terms for all languages, this article discussed an initiative taken by ACC for more African-spoken language translations during their Hacktoberfests.

“The West Hub community looks forward to continuing to leverage the extensive resources available through The Carpentries to build capacity around the region this year,” said West Hub Executive Director Ashley Atkins.


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