I teach at Seneca College in Toronto. We've been pioneering a new approach to open source education which enables students to move beyond being users of open source software to become open source community members, actively involved in writing, packaging, testing, documenting, translating, and distributing open source software. We've been using this model within the Mozilla community and the results have been amazing: a monitoring system for plugins, apng support, localization tools, buildbot on EC2, a source server, and many more.
Next year we're going to guide a group of students as they learn to work within the Fedora community. I promise the Fedora project that we're not going to dump a lot of unprepared students on you, that we're not going bring outside academic approaches and strange tools into the project, and that we're not going to bombard one corner of the community with more new participants than you can effectively use.
Over the next few months (including FUDCon Boston), I'm going to ask you, the Fedora community, what you need done: What projects do you need people to work on? What projects would you take on if only you had the time? What would be really cool to accomplish within the Fedora project? Together we'll build up a long list of potential projects, and in September we'll start matching up students with projects in the open source way: according to their passion.
The students will be all over the place: perhaps some in testing, a few on the desktop, a couple working on networking pieces, some on build, others on packaging, and few on infrastructure. They'll be as overwhelmed as we were when we started working with Fedora; anyone should be overwhelmed when facing a project with 2000 contributors, 6000 packages, and nearly 100 million lines of source code. But they'll be using Fedora's tools and practices, rubbing shoulders with you on mailing lists and IRC channels, working in bugzilla, adding notes to the wiki, and blogging about successes, failures, and frustrations.
Which brings me to an invitation: the first group of Seneca students working with Fedora in this way will be those in our LUX (Linux/Unix System Administration) program. This is an intense one-year graduate program open those with a CS/IT diploma or degree or equivalent experience. It's deep open source system administration for a year: mass deployments, virtual machines, packaging, SELinux, servers, networking, python/perl/bash, the X window system, high availability, the whole works. We're looking for 24 great students. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, or you know someone who would be interested, here's the program information: PDF flyer or website (course outlines have not been updated yet).
I'm passionate about Fedora and about the LUX program, and I'm really excited to combine the two in this project. I'll blog more about this we continue our preparations -- in the meantime here are some links (and feel free to catch me on freenode:#seneca or freenode:#fedora-devel, or mail me at chris.tyler at senecac.on.ca):