[Because I am a big dork, this has been sitting in my drafts for a long time, since apparently I clicked "Save" instead of "Publish" or something. What fun!]
A little less than a year ago, beltzner and I met with a few people at Seneca College about a project that some students were about to undertake. The details of the project are themselves pretty interesting, but the really valuable takeaway for me turned out to be a connection with Prof. Dave Humphrey and others at Seneca who are interested in really baking open source work, technology, communities and principles into the educational experience.
Since that fateful day, we’ve embarked on a number of pretty exciting projects with Seneca, such as their hosting of hardware for development of MDC and AMO work, test environments, some pretty awesome buildbot hacking, multi-compiler support for distcc, and APNG support.
And, of course, the most excellently righteous “Topics in Open Source” course, which Dave is teaching for the first time this term, and in which I have been joined by several Mozilla compatriots in miseducating eager students about topics many and varied. As with most interesting things, it has not been all flowers and roses — entering our community can be daunting for even the most intrepid of newbies — but I think that some great stuff has and will come of it. The amount of energy and enthusiasm there is just ridiculous, and as a wiser man would have predicted I’m having a hard time keeping up with the students. Ah, to be young again.
A little more than a week from now, on October 26th and 27th, Mozilla is co-sponsoring Seneca’s Free Software and Open Source Symposium. A generous handful of Mozillians will be in attendance or speaking, and I predict ample opportunity to talk with Dave and his fellow crazy people about what they’re doing, what’s working so far, what we could try next, and how to get involved in whatever way strikes your fancy. The lineup of speakers looks pretty great, present company excepted of course, and it’s hard to imagine a better way to spend $20 of your open-source-self-education budget. Hope to see you there!