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Full-Length Paper

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands (TU Delft) stopped its activities on campus until autumn 2021 and moved all teaching activities to an online setting. This article describes the challenges and lessons learned from successfully moving basic programming workshops, Software Carpentry workshops, online. The article details the local TU Delft context, the online workshop tools that were employed, and the roles that the organising team played to organise and run these online workshops. To successfully adapt to the online context, it was important to adjust the original planning and programme for the Carpentry workshops. General challenges of online workshops and solutions that worked for the TU Delft team are also shared. Through iteratively developing the online workshops over the past year, the team has enhanced both learners’ and organisers’ experience. The lessons learned will continue to be valuable when the workshops are transitioned back to a physical setting when COVID-19 protective measures are lifted.


Carpentries, online workshops, online education, programming course, Software Carpentry Workshop

Data Availability

This is a descriptive case study for which no data was generated. All information is available in the article or in the references.


Running the Carpentries workshops was not possible without our team of Instructors and Helpers. Many thanks to everyone involved in the workshops from 2018 to mid 2021: Aleksandra Wilczynska, Amir Ebrahimi Fard, Andre van der Kraan, Arthur Newton, Ashley Cryan, Barbara Vreede, Ben Companjen, Bjørn Peare Bartholdy, Carien Hilvering, Carlos Teijeiro Barjas, Claudia Engelhardt, Claudiu Forgaci, Clémentine Cottineau, Daniela Gawehns, Dennis Palagin, Eduard Klapwijk, Eirini Zormpa, Elena Zhebel, Elin Vesper, Emmy Tsang, Esther Plomp, Giordano Lipari, Heather Andrews Mancilla, Jacques Flores, Jeff Love, Jose Carlos Urra Llanusa, Kees den Heijer, Kristina Hettne, Leila Iñigo de la Cruz, Lena Karvovskaya, Leonor Guedes Da Silva, Lora Armstrong, Manuel Garcia Alvarez, Marcel van der Broek, Marieke Dirksen, Mario Beck, Mark Schenk, Masha Rudneva, Mateusz Kuzak, Maurits Kok, Nadir Ahami, Neel Nagda, Nicolas Dintzner, Niket Agrawal, Olger Siebinga, Paula Martinez Lavanchy, Pedro Ferreira, Peter Verhaar, Raphaela Heil, Raúl A. Ortiz Merino, Ruud Steltenpool, Sam Nooij, Santosh Ilamparuthi, Sobhan Omranian Khorasani, Stephan Sneijders, Susan Branchett, Tad Lispy, Twan Keijzer, Veronika Cheplygina, Victor Koppejan, Vijai Suriyababu, Wijb Dekker, Willem Ligtenberg and Yan Wang. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedback.

Corresponding Author

Dr. Esther Plomp, 0000-0003-3625-1357, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Lorentzweg 1, 2628 CJ Delft, The Netherlands; e.plomp@tudelft.nl

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Copyright © 2022 Plomp, Tsang, and Martinez Lavanchy. This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

AppendixA_1221_Plomp.pdf (711 kB)
Appendix A: TU Delft Carpentries workshops organisation team

AppendixB_1221_Plomp.pdf (760 kB)
Appendix B: Feedback from the learners of the Data Carpentry workshop in 2021

AppendixC_1221_Plomp.pdf (731 kB)
Appendix C: Snapshot of the collaborative note taking document with Breakout rooms indicated