The ancient craft of carpentry still implies hands-on working with wood, using tools such as saw, hammer and nails to join the pieces into weight-bearing structures. So the phrase software carpentry used for an advanced training course makes an odd combination – bringing a sledgehammer to crack a nut, relatively speaking. Compare the term software engineering, where the two words now seem entirely compatible although software itself originated in the physical context of early computer instruction systems (often punch-tape-based) in the 1960s. Software has steadily distanced itself from the hardware of computers, and the work of most engineers is now much less at the coalface than in the office or laboratory.
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