Gratitude

Congratulations to Greg on his new position!

Authors: Data Carpentry Steering Committee and Staff BLOG

Thanks for all his amazing and inspirational work

As many of you will know by now, Greg Wilson, Director of Instructor Training for Software Carpentry (and thus indirectly also for Data Carpentry), has announced that he will step down from his position at the end of January 2017 to join Shopify as their Computer Science Education Lead. We’re very excited about this new opportunity for Greg to continue to reshape how people learn computer and data science skills, and we are enthusiastic to see where his creativity and passion about democratizing digital literacy skills take him next. Greg is also the reason we are here in the first place, and so this is an opportunity to say thank you to him.

At Data Carpentry, we’re united by a deep sense of gratitude for everything Greg has done for the Carpentries. He’s the giant on whose shoulders we all stand, and it’s his tireless work, infectious idealism, and unbending commitment to fostering community, collaboration, and openness that has turned a few lessons on better research software practices into a worldwide movement that has had a real impact on how we do research everyday. Along the way Greg created an ethos of collaborative and open lesson development, of teaching shared curriculum, and of learning to be a better teacher. Most important of all, he inspired a community of people who passionately work together towards shared goals. He showed those of us who felt alone in our labs working in programming or data analysis that we weren’t, and enabled us to connect with others who shared our enthusiasm for data and code, as well as our passion to share that perspective with others.

When we recently surveyed Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry instructors, the most common reason cited by respondents for why they wanted to become instructors is because they talked to Greg. Greg has collectively and individually inspired over 700 instructors that we have today as well as countless learners in any of the workshops that he’s taught. He’s made us feel like we can do more than we thought and that we had something important to contribute. For Data Carpentry, he is the one who encouraged us to scale it beyond an initial few workshops, to make it a Carpentry, and he served on the Steering Committee for the crucial time of getting it off the ground.

Greg came from the code world, but what he cared about first has always been people. He is the kind of person who will advocate for everyone else he knows before he does so for himself. He embodies the desire to make the world a better place, by giving more people a chance to participate and to be heard. We’re glad that Greg will continue to be a part of the community, including occasionally teaching workshops and training instructors. Those of you fortunate to be in his classes will get to experience him first hand, but you’ll also see his passion and commitment to helping others through all the instructors he trained, and indeed through the Carpentries movement as a whole.

We’re certain there are many other stories from people who Greg inspired to be bold and create something new, and to go after something that was valuable but difficult. If you have a story of your own and want to thank Greg, please don’t hesitate to, in true SWC fashion, create an issue in the ‘conversations’ repo and leave him a message.

We all wish Greg the best in his new endeavor!

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