Maintainer Onboarding

Welcome to Carpentry Maintainer onboarding! By keeping the lessons running smoothly and making sure that they conform to the Carpentry’s pedagogical model, Maintainers form the backbone of the Carpentry team. Over the next three weeks, you will be introduced to the three major aspects of the Carpentry Maintainer’s role in the community - the social aspects, curricular aspects, and technical aspects.

  1. Social aspects: Maintainers facilitate collaboration on lesson development and are often the first point of contact for new contributors to the Carpentry community. They play a prominent role in representing the Carpentry community online.

  2. Curricular aspects: Maintainers make sure that their lessons stay up-to-date, function smoothly, represent an appropriate level of material, and stay in line with changes in the overall workshop curriculum.

  3. Technical aspects: Maintainers ensure that Carpentry lessons have a consistent look and feel by following styling guidelines and formatting conventions.


This course is currently undergoing revision for Spring 2020, and will be heavily adapted within the next several months. The next round of Maintainer onboarding will open to new Maintainers in April 2020. Please contact Angela Li (, Maintainer Community Lead, with any questions.


Setup Download files required for the lesson
00:00 1. Welcome to the Maintainer Community What should you expect from Maintainer Onboarding?
What is my motivation for becoming a Lesson Maintainer?
What are the roles and responsibilities of a Lesson Maintainer?
Who are some of the other individuals on my Curriculum Team?
01:00 2. Building Maintainer Skills What is the role of a Maintainer in interacting with contributors?
What is the Carpentries etiquette for working with GitHub?
What types of issues and PRs am I likely to see and how should I handle them?
01:55 3. Infrastructure for Lesson Maintenance How will I interact with my fellow Maintainers?
What is the overall curriculum development process and what is my role in it?
What is the overall lesson release process and what is my role in it?
How does my lesson fit into the overall curriculum?
What kinds of changes do I have the authority to make?
Who should I talk to about bigger-scale changes?
What should I know about how the lessons are formatted?
How do I preview changes?
What terminology is used to describe the lessons?
What files are involved in the lesson and what do they do?
How are the lesson styles maintained?
02:50 Finish

The actual schedule may vary slightly depending on the topics and exercises chosen by the instructor.