The Carpentries for Coding & Data Analysis

The Carpentries - formally Software and Data Carpentry - aims to teach digital and computational literacy to researchers, postgraduate students, and support staff in IT and the libraries through open access materials and methodologies.

About the Carpentries

The Carpentries, previously known as two separate organisations - Software Carpentry and Data Carpentry, have been working with South African academics since 2013 to develop digital and computational skills locally. Not only do they teach tools such as R, Python, version control with git and Github, but they also offer a train-the-trainer workshop.

Over the past six years, almost 30 digital and computational literacy workshops and three in-person train-the-trainer events in South Africa. Visit the official past and upcoming workshop websites to see the Carpentries’ global footprint. Local organisations that have hosted these events include:

  • University of the Western Cape
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Stellenbosch
  • University of the Witwatersrand
  • North-West University
  • University of Limpopo
  • University of Venda
  • University of KwaZulu Natal
  • South African Earth Observation Network
  • PyConZA

Where does the funding come from?

Most of the events that were run in South Africa, have been funded jointly by several grants, individuals, companies, and other stakeholders. In some cases workshops require a registration fee to help cover costs.

Since 2016 the RCCP II has co-funded a large number of workshops and instructor training events. RCCP II will continue to fund these workshops in 2018. For more information, please get in touch. A full list of upcoming workshops and funding opportunities will be posted on the website shortly.

What do they teach?

All Carpentry materials are published under open licences and can be re-used in other contexts. For a full list of lessons, please visit:

Lessons typically include:

  • Using the bash shell for automation of repetitive tasks
  • R and Python for data analysis and visualisation
  • Programming in Python and R
  • Databases with SQL
  • Version control and collaboration with git and Github
  • More…

Feedback from past workshops in SA

There is a tradition of providing feedback to the community about workshops that have been run. Instructors and hosts are encouraged to participate in discussion sessions to share their experiences and lessons learned in order to prevent having to reinvent the wheel over and over again.

To this effect several of our instructors have written blog posts about their local workshops, but also about their experiences as instructors in other African countries:

How can you get involved?

Please email the African Carpentries Regional Coordinator to request a workshop or get more information.

You can also complete the online workshop request form.

Workshops that were run under RCCPII

Start DateEnd DateVenueTypeWorkshop Website
2018-03-152018-03-16University of Cape TownData Carpentry
2018-04-062018-04-06University of the Western CapeData Carpentry
2018-05-092018-05-11University of the Free StateLibrary Carpentry
2018-07-112018-07-13University of MpumalangaData Carpentry
2018-07-182018-07-20North-West University - Mahikeng CampusData Carpentry
2018-09-032018-09-05Birchwood Hotel & Conference FacilitiesData Carpentry
2018-09-032018-09-05Birchwood Hotel & Conference FacilitiesSoftware Carpentry
2018-09-032018-09-05Birchwood Hotel & Conference FacilitiesLibrary Carpentry
2018-10-312018-11-02Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences UniversityData Carpentry
2018-11-072018-11-09Rhodes UniversityData Carpentry
2018-11-122018-11-14University of Fort HareData Carpentry
2018-11-132018-11-15University of VendaData Carpentry
2018-12-042018-12-06Durban University of TechnologyData Carpentry
2018-12-042018-12-06Durban University of TechnologySoftware Carpentry
2019-01-152019-01-17University of ZululandData Carpentry
2019-01-302019-02-01Walter Sisulu UniversityData Carpentry
2019-03-182019-03-20Sol Plaatjie UniversityData Carpentry