Open Source Comes to Campus/RPI

From OpenHatch wiki

Open Source Comes to Campus: RPI

This workshop is running Sat-Sun, April 21-22. at RPI, in Sage 5101 starting at 10 AM

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 - 11:40 AM: Communicating as a user: finding the community and getting help
    • Led by Alex Gaynor
  • 11:40 - 12:10 PM: History and ethics of free, open source software
    • Led by Asheesh
  • 12:15 PM: Split into groups, in preparation for modules.
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch
  • 1:15 PM: Split into groups of max size 10, with 2 staff in each group. Students stay put; staff rotate between rooms.
  • 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM: Module 1 (1h)
  • 2:20 - 3:10 PM: Module 2 (50min)
  • 3:15 - 4:05 PM: Module 3 (50min)
  • 4:10 PM: Come back into the full group
  • 4:10 PM: Wrap-up: feedback, and next steps

Students rotate between the following three modules:

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

Audience: anyone interested in getting started contributing to open source projects (in any capacity, including code, documentation, artwork, translations, and more). Additionally, the tools and skills we'll cover are universally useful and aren't typically taught in school, so anyone with an interest in the material is welcome and encouraged to attend!

Want to contribute to open source projects, but not sure where to start or what tools to use?

In this 2 day workshop we'll cover:

  • what open source is: where it came from, what makes it important, and the many ways to contribute
  • the life cycle of a project bug
  • using IRC to get help and talk to other project contributors
  • how to create and submit a patch to a bug tracker for review
  • how to check out code stored in a revision control system and apply patches to it

By the end of this workshop you will have hands-on experience with all of the common tools used to contribute to open source projects and will be ready to go out and contribute to your first project. We'll wrap up with resources to continue practicing and ways to find good projects and bugs for new contributors.

Space is limited, so you must RSVP for this event!


We're grateful to the following organizations for making this event possible:

  • RCOS, the student group known as the Rensselaer Center for Open Source, invited us to campus and sponsored organizational expenses.
  • Nokia, who is sending Christopher Schmidt and contributing to event expenses.
  • Kitware, who will be sending a number of staffers and will be contributing to event expenses.
  • And to ourselves (:, OpenHatch, as the main organizer of the event.


Schedule: 10 AM to 4:30 PM, Sat 4/21 and 4/22. We meet in Sage 5101. See below for how to get to the building called Sage, or the RPI campus.

You must bring: a laptop and charger.

Prerequisites: None. We'll help you get your computer set up.

Internet access: Wired ethernet will be available at every desk. We are working out how to best provide wi-fi for those without Ethernet ports.

Laptop setup: Laptop setup

Please e-mail with questions about the curriculum, software installation, or anything else.

Alex Gaynor can be reached at 773-750-5614.

Getting to campus (and Sage 5101):

by public transit

  • Bus Routes 286 and 87 come up to campus through downtown Troy.
  • The 90 can be used from UAlbany main campus; you can get of on the stop close to 15th and Sage and take it from foot the rest of the way.
  • 280 and 289 come down close to campus from up Congress/Pawling; get off around 15th and Congress and walk down 15th until you reach the campus (you'll see a sign on a foot bridge)
  • From Downtown Albany you can take the 22 express to downtown troy and come up on the 280, 289, 286, or 87.

You can also call the CDTA ( and they will generally be able to tell you how to get where you want to go.

by car, or for more details: Use this Google Maps link. The building looks like this from the outside, there is a large metal medallion right across from the main entrance to the building, as well as a large metal structure with 6 "fingers" on the lawn next to it.

Rooms reserved:

  • Sage 4101
  • Sage 5101
  • Sage 4112

Staff page