Software Carpentry website
HTML CSS JavaScript Jupyter Notebook TeX Python Other
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.

Build Status

Software Carpentry Website

This is the repository for the new Software Carpentry website. Please submit additions and fixes as pull requests to our GitHub repository.

Lessons are not stored in this repository: please see the lessons page for links to their repositories.

Software Carpentry is an open project, and we welcome contributions of all kinds. By contributing, you are agreeing that Software Carpentry may redistribute your work under these licenses, and to abide by our code of conduct.


The website uses Jekyll, a static website generator written in Ruby. You need to have Version 2.1.0 or higher of Ruby and the package manager Bundler (The package manager is used to make sure you use exactly the same versions of software as GitHub Pages). Bundler can be installed with $ gem install bundler. If you are on Linux, you will need to install the Ruby header files (e.g., $ sudo apt-get install ruby-dev on Debian/Ubuntu). After checking out the repository, please run:

Alternative Method: If you have Docker installed on your system, you may be able to use the make dockerbuild and make dockerserve targets. These Makefile targets will install all Jekyll dependencies into the folder vendor/ and build/serve the website respectively.

$ bundle install

to install Jekyll and the software it depends on. You may consult Using Jekyll with Pages for further instructions.

You will also need Python 3 with PyYAML available in order to re-generate the data files the site depends on.


Please do not use jekyll build or jekyll serve directly to build or view the website. Instead, you should use the following commands:

  • make or make commands: list available commands.
  • make serve: build files locally and run a server at for viewing. This is the best way to preview the site.
  • make site: build files locally, but do not serve them dynamically.
  • make clean removes the _site directory and any Emacs editor backup files littering the source directories.

The details describes a few more advanced commands as well. Please note that rebuilding this site can take 3-4 minutes on a moderately powerful laptop, and occasionally times out on GitHub. We're working on it...


To write a blog post, create a file called _posts/YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD-some-title.html or _posts/YYYY/MM/ (for HTML and Markdown respectively). YYYY is the 4-digit year of the post, MM the 2-digit month, and DD the 2-digit day; some-title can be any hyphenated string of words that do not include special characters such as quotes. Please do not use underscores or periods in the names. When published, your blog post will appear as

The YAML header of a blog post must look like this:

layout: post
authors: ["Your Name"]
title: "A Title-Cased Title for the Post"
date: YYYY-MM-DD
time: "hh:mm:ss"
category: ["Some Category", "Some Other Category"]

where YYYY-MM-DD is replaced by the post's date and hh:mm:ss by the post's time. Note that the time must be quoted so that the colons it contains do not confuse Jekyll's YAML parser. Note also that authors is a list---if the post has more than one author, please format the list like this:

authors: ["First Author", "Second Author", "Third Author"]

rather than running all the authors' names together in one long string.

To create a new page, add a file to the pages directory. This can be written in either Markdown or HTML, and must have the following YAML header:

layout: page-fullwidth
permalink: /some/path/
title: Title in Title Case

You must then also add the page to _data/navigation.yml, which is used to generate the site's pull-down navigation menu.

To add a workshop, fill in the workshop request form online. You should fill in this form even for self-organized workshops in order to get your workshop into our database.

Do not edit the YAML in _data/amy.yml: this is overwritten every time the website is rebuilt on the server.

The Details

Data Files

This website depends on three data files, each of which is rebuilt by make:

  • make amy regenerates _data/amy.yml, which contains information about upcoming workshops, instructors' locations, and so on that is fetched from our online workshop management tool. You must be logged in to AMY in order to run this.

  • make dashboard generates _data/dashboard.yml, which contains information about the state of our GitHub repositories. In order to run this, you must get a GitHub API token and store it in $HOME/.git-token.

  • make includes to rebuild the data file _data/includes.yml. This does not require special permissions, but is only necessary if you have added more people to _includes/people or more projects to _includes/projects. (We plan to move the content of these two directories to _data so that make includes will no longer be needed.)

We cache the output of these commands in the _data directory so that people can rebuild the site without needing special permissions.


The files in the _sass and assets directories control the appearance of this site. Their contents are pulled in manually from a stand-alone repository, which also controls the appearance of the workshop template and lesson template. Please contact us before modifying any of these files so that we can figure out the best way to incorporate your improvements.

Rebuilding the Main Web Site

A copy of the shell script bin/ is installed in the website's home directory on our server and re-run hourly by cron. If you are able to ssh to the server, it can be re-run manually as:

$ ssh ./