Checkout Process


Teaching: 5 min
Exercises: 10 min
  • What do I need to do to finish certifying as a Carpentries Instructor?

  • Describe the final steps required to qualify as an Instructor.

  • Schedule your community discussion session.

During this period after lunch, we will be talking about some of the nuts and bolts of getting involved in The Carpentries. First, we will discuss what actions you will need to take after this training to become a fully certified Instructor. After that, we will address any questions about The Carpentries organization, running workshops, and getting involved in the community in other ways.

Application form

Make sure that you have filled out The Carpentries Instructor application form. We can not track your progress and make you an official Instructor without it. If you have already filled out this form, you do not need to submit another application.

Instructor Checkout

There are three final steps to complete before qualifying as an Instructor. The Instructor checkout webpage explains the procedure in detail. Briefly, the three steps are:

  1. Make a contribution to any eligible repository:
    1. Providing substantive feedback on an existing issue or pull request (preferred).
    2. Submiting a change (i.e. pull request) to fix an existing issue. Our Help Wanted page lists issues for which lesson maintainers need assistance and is a good place to start when looking for ways to contribute.
    3. Proof-reading a lesson and adding a new issue describing something to be improved.
  2. Take part in a community discussion with experienced Instructors.
  3. Prepare to teach a full Carpentries lesson (i.e. the content of one lesson repository). Then perform a 5-minute live coding demo for that lesson starting at a point chosen by the session lead.

All trainees have 3 months (90 days) from the end date of your training to complete checkout. If you need more time, extensions for up to a year may be requested by emailing

Carpentries Tools: Etherpad

The Etherpad is a widely used tools in Carpentries workshops and many other activities in the community. There are etherpads about a many topics, like the two linked in the checkout instructions above. To make them all findable, the Carpentries manage a “pad of pads”. This is a great one to bookmark and use as a reference throughout your checkout process and as a newly minted member of The Carpentries community.

Checking Out Review with Questions and Answers

In small groups, read and discuss one of the three checkout procedures listed above and described in detail at this page. Make notes in the Etherpad and when you are done, report back to the full group about the requirements for that stage of the process. What questions do you still have about the checkout process?

This exercise should take about 5 minutes.

Schedule a Discussion or Demo

Visit the discussion Etherpad to sign up for a session. If the session you would like to attend is full, contact the discussion host and co-host to ask if you can attend.

If you would prefer to do your teaching demonstration before your discussion, visit the demo Etherpad and sign up there. This demo rubric is provided as a guide for Trainers evaluating potential new Instructors during the teaching demonstration.

Note: When you’re scheduling you may see extra information on some sessions. These sessions may be themed (community discussions) or sub community focused(teaching demos) , be careful to select a session that matches your interests and needs. A themed Community Discussion may not leave you time to ask questions about your upcoming workshop. A focused teaching demo may, for example, be offered in a language other than English.

This exercise should take 5 minutes.

Lesson Contribution

The lesson materials are hosted on GitHub:

and are developed collaboratively. Each lesson is in a separate repository, and consists of narrative lesson material and an associated directory containing the data or scripts needed in the lesson. This source material is also then served as a website, using GitHub’s “gh-pages” feature.

Lesson contribution is managed within the repository using “issues” and “pull requests”. New problems or suggestions can be introduced as issues, discussed by the community, and addressed via a pull request, which serves as a “request” to make changes, and can also be discussed before changes are merged.

If contributing on GitHub is new for you, see this guide that is customized to the Carpentries workflow.

What is in a Badge?

Once you have completed all checkout steps, within about 2 weeks you will receive an email with your Instructor badge! What does this mean?

Check Out the Discussion (Optional)

As an instructor, your voice is important! We want you to be actively involved in discussions about the lesson materials (and other aspects of The Carpentries community). Go to the GitHub page for the lesson you worked with over the past two days and click on the “Issues” tab. Read through some of the discussions and, if you have anything to add, please add it to the conversation! If you wish to make a pull request, be sure to examine the contribution guidelines for the repository you are working in. If you do make a significant contribution to the discussion, send a link to the issue to Congratulations! You have just completed one of the three remaining steps in becoming a Carpentries Instructor.

Leave about 5-10 minutes for this exercise.

Ongoing support

Discussion sessions are not only for instructors-in-training working towards their certification. Instructors are highly encouraged to participate in discussions before and after each of their workshops, so that they can continue to learn from each other and advance their teaching skills. For even more support, consider participating in our Carpentries Mentoring program!

Key Points

  • To certify, you must contribute to a lesson, take part in a discussion, and do a teaching demo within 90 days of your training event.