technical education

How to teach undergrads how to become open source contributors without writing any code

Imdergrads and open source contributors without writing any code

This is the story of a college class taught inside an open source community. Last fall, I taught Release Engineering to a small group of undergraduates at Olin College, an engineering school a few miles outside Boston. The goal was to teach them how to become functional technical contributors to an open source project--without writing any code. In the hopes that others will be inspired to teach similar classes, I've written our experiences up as a case study in three pieces: cultural, technical, and "getting real." » Read more


The role of technical forums in the progress of open source

I am a huge advocate of the concept of open source software. As a society, we are at a point where information sharing is more critical than ever. Technical forums support the mission of open source in multiple ways. First, they allow programmers to work outside of their expertise. Second, forums allow people to share their experiences with software. Last, they allow scientific researchers who are not always (not usually) well-trained programmers to carry out their research with an entire community to help them make design decisions and help them through technical difficulties. » Read more