Software Carpentry wouldn't exist without support from the Sloan Foundation, Mozilla, and a lot of other supporters, but that support won't last forever. Over the next two years, we need to find a way to make this project self-sustaining; to achieve that, we're currently doing the following:
- Use a "host pays expenses" model so that our budget doesn't have to grow as we scale up.
Status: mostly done.
- Make contribution easier, so that people who want to help can do so with little or no overhead.
Status: we should finish migrating to GitHub by the end of the year, and using IPython Notebooks for teaching will help too, but the world still (desperately) needs a version control-friendly format for general teaching materials.
- Demonstrate career value to instructors, so that people can keep teaching for us even when they're crunched by other commitments.
Status: we're adding testimonials all the time, and hope to have some bigger stories by the middle of 2013.
- Assess our impact in ways scientists will find credible.
Status: we're currently exploring ways to do this, and would like to hear from anyone who'd like to help.
- Lobby funding agencies and journals to ask hard questions about software (or about software development processes). In the long term, we need to convert twenty percent of scientists to our way of thinking, but we can accelerate that by focusing on the right twenty percent.
Status: we haven't started this yet.
- Get scientists to include training in budgets and schedules.
Status: this is the longest shot of all, because it depends on funding agencies being amenable to the idea. In practice, it may have to wait until we reach our 20% target...
If you can think of other things we can do to ensure Software Carpentry's long-term viability, we'd like to hear from you.