Growing researchers computational skills to meet future needs
This is a review of NeSI's training strategy from 2015-2017 that reflects on the activities and impacts of the strategy, and provides:
- a snapshot of NeSI training activities over the years 2015-2017
- an estimate of the penetration of training activities in the research sector
- an estimate of the potential of NeSI training activities to provide direct or indirect support for researcher up-skilling
- a framework to guide how future NeSI training activities could/should be deployed - taking into account NeSI's capacity - to maximise impact
Since 2012, NeSI has been building New Zealand researchers' computational abilities, with a focus on developing advanced computational skills. Within the early days of its Training Strategy, NeSI identified Software Carpentry as a leadership community in building researcher skills training underpinned by sound pedagogy.
NeSI embraced this approach and in 2013 it hosted the first New Zealand Software Carpentry event, immediately witnessing the positive impact of the Carpentries' peer-led workshop format. NeSI's first Software Carpentry instructors were trained in early 2015 during an instructor training event in Melbourne. What followed was a rapid succession of New Zealand workshops delivered with colleagues from across the New Zealand research sector.
Following this period of expertise-building and experimentation, NeSI mapped out a Training Strategy to carry its training programme over the next few years. By launching its strategy in 2015, NeSI has made a tangible contribution to growing a network of passionate practitioners across the research sector, all working together to lift foundational computational and data science skills. NeSI reached all goals set out for its first three years of the Training Strategy, which are reported on in this review.
This Training Strategy review will inform NeSI’s next steps in this space, using the insights gained from these first formative years to identify the role NeSI can play in future training activities in NZ.
New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) enables researchers across a wide range of communities and disciplines to tackle large or highly complicated problems and to investigate scientific challenges that were previously impossible. NeSI makes approaching these problems easier for researchers through offering a specialised platform of computational and analytics software and services powered by supercomputers, and placing a strong emphasis on support and training alongside the raw power of its technology platform. NeSI is a collaboration of the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, NIWA, and MBIE.