Open Source Comes to Campus/RPI/Staff

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About this page

Hi, staff! This wiki page is intended mostly as a reference for staff so that you can see, before-hand, what will happen at the Open Source Comes to Campus event at RPI.

Venue logistics

How to get there, by public transit: FIXME

How to get there, by car, or for more details: FIXME

Rooms reserved:

  • Sage 4101
  • Sage 510

Concept behind the weekend

The website about these events in general explains.

  • Sat, Apr 21 is the workshop day:

a workshop where we teach you how to use the tools and lingo associated with open source software development

  • Sun, Apr 22 is the project day.

a project day where you and your fellow students choose an open source software project to work on, find a bug to tackle, and (hopefully) write your first patch, make your first documentation fix, or otherwise make a contribution to open source software

People involved

  • Asheesh Laroia (585 506 8865) is formally running the event, so he's the personal fundamentally responsible for making things succeed. Also responsible for opening ceremonies, playtesting, history+ethics discussion, ordering food, sending pre-event reminder email to attendees.
  • Alex Gaynor is the primary local contact.
  • Christopher Schmidt (from Nokia)

What it means to be a module lead instructor

You prepare whatever teaching aids are necessary -- slides, exercises -- and help students understand the part of the curriculum that you are assigned.

You also should discuss your teaching plan with your TA so that the TA can help answer students' questions.

We aim for about half of the module time to be lecture/discussion, and half to be hands-on exercises. If you need help designing lecture, discussion, exercises, let Asheesh know and he will help.

What it means to be a TA

The purpose of TAs is to help make sure students get the most out of a module. Specifically, you help the primary instructor by answering student questions about the material and help them past problems with their laptops, either by showing them how to solve a problem or escalating the issue to the instructor if you can't fix it.

On Friday or Saturday, before the module's first run, you should spend some time (5 to 20 minutes) discussing the module with its lead instructor.

You're welcome to participate in other ways, as they make sense to you -- for example, help elucidate under-addressed topics during the Ethics and Economics section by asking questions.

Other essential links

Saturday schedule

Detailed Saturday schedule. We're fairly confident it will stick to this.

  • 10:00 AM: Laptop setup begins (if you are done early, you can Q&A with instructors)
  • 10:30: Brief opening ceremonies -- explain structure + goals
    • Led by Asheesh
  • 10:45 - 11: More laptop setup (if you are done early, you can Q&A with instructors)
  • 11 - 11:30 AM: Communicating as a user: finding the community and getting help
    • Led by ??
  • 11:30 - 12 PM: History and ethics of free, open source software
    • Led by Asheesh
  • 12 PM: Break + lunch.
  • 1 PM: Split into groups of max size 10, with 2 staff in each group. Students stay put; staff rotate between rooms.
  • 1 PM - 2 PM: Module 1 (1h)
  • 2:05 - 2:55 PM: Module 2 (50min)
  • 3:00 - 3:45 PM: Module 3 (45min)
  • 3:45 PM: Come back into the full group
  • 3:55 PM: Wrap-up: feedback, and next steps

Students rotate between the following three modules:

  • More about the command line
  • Getting, modifying, and verifying open source software
  • Project organization (bug trackers; git format-patch; github; people's roles in a project)


Goal: Get students to pick a FLOSS project that seems interesting, and make a direct contribution of effort of some kind.


  • 10:00 AM: Coffee is here; doors open.
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch arrives.
  • 5 PM: Wrap-up.

To do:

  • We should come up with a hand-selected list of good bite-sized bugs across projects.