Software Carpentry

What is Software Carpentry?

Software Carpentry workshops are hands-on, two-day events that cover the core computational research skills needed to be productive as an individual scientist or in small research teams. Hosted by the Digital Arts, Sciences, & Humanities Program (with funding from University Libraries, the Graduate School, and the Office of the Vice President for Research), these two-day workshops offer graduate students, staff, and faculty short tutorials and practical exercises on basic computational research skills. No previous experience is needed and each workshop is taught by experienced researchers who use these tools in their own work. Participants will learn how to automate tasks using the Unix shell, will be introduced to a structured programming language like Python or R, and will gain experience using Git and Github for version control. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about tools that will help your research process become more efficient, rigorous, and reproducible.

Workshops are scheduled from December through May:

December 3-4, 2018 in 101 Walter Library - BASH, R, Git
January 15-16, 2019 in 120 Andersen Library - BASH, R, Git
March 18-19, 2019 in 555 Diehl Hall - BASH, Python, Git
May 16-17, 2019 in 120 Andersen Library - BASH, Python, Git

Workshops are held from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. each of the two days. No cost to attend. Breakfast, lunch, and coffee is included. Please bring your own laptop and have administrative rights to install software. Space is limited to 30 people. This is not a series, but the same workshop offered with four date options. Please register only if you can commit to attending the entirety of the two days; no exceptions. See for more information about the organization.

For any inquiries, please contact us at

What is taught at a Software Carpentry Workshop?

  • Automating tasks using the Unix shell
  • Structured programming in Python, R, or MATLAB
  • Version control using Git or Mercurial

Why Software Carpentry?

  • Enables computational research that couldn’t be done otherwise.
  • improves reproducibility and rigor by automating repetitive tasks and allowing sharing and auditing of data collection, processing, and analysis scripts.
  • Helps improve the quality of shared research data and code.

Who is the target audience for Software Carpentry?

  • Graduate students
  • Faculty
  • Staff who do research

UMN Software Carpentry Pilot Plan

  • One year membership in Software Carpentry
  • Certification of 6 Software Carpentry Instructors
  • 4 initial workshops
Go Top

Contact Information