From contributing to consuming


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Tech Talk on how and why students can get involved in open source projects. Delivered at Georgia Gwinnett College on March 22, 2013. (Note that there were several websites displayed in the browser that are not in the slides; however, the URLs of those sites are on the last slide of the deck.)

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From contributing to consuming

  1. 1. Humanitarian Freeand Open SourceSoftware (HFOSS):Doing Good WithFOSS Mel Chua
  2. 2. From consuming tocontributing Mel Chua
  3. 3. Four Freedoms Freedom to use Freedom to share Freedom to modifyFreedom to share modifications
  4. 4. MEL CHUA student hackeracademic
  5. 5. BE BOLDask forgiveness,not permission
  6. 6. MAGIC WORD: edu ca tionCC-BY-SA from al
  7. 7. Good Excuses class projectindependent study (STEC 2500/4500) undergraduate research get a job use your job
  8. 8. Write your own job description Hi, (future boss). I noticed (concrete observation) It seems like (problem or opportunity). I could do (this job) – Ivealready done (experience), and it wouldonly take (resources). If we do this, we might get (result). What do you think?
  9. 9. Run OLPCs first hackathonHi, (OLPC engineers). I noticed (yourevery busy) It seems like (a good time toget technical volunteers to help). I could(pull a hackathon together so you couldteach them how to use your platform) –Ive already (got a hosting place), and it would only take (a day of your time). If we do this, we might get (volunteers to help you). What do you think?
  10. 10. Lead Fedoras marketing team Hi, (PR dept). I noticed (you always write our press release from scratch). It seems like (a good chance to make atemplate). I could do (this job) – Ive (gotno experience), but it would only take (2 lunch meetings for you to teach me). If we do this, we might get (the press release done ourselves in the future). What do you think?
  11. 11. Reduce deployment cost from $200 to $10Hi, (college admissions). I noticed ($200 is a lot of money) It seems like (we could run this software from a $10 thumbdrive instead). I could do (a thumbdrive-based distribution) – Ivealready (made a few), and it would only take (access to a build machine). If we do this, we might get (cheaper deployment). What do you think?
  12. 12. O
  13. 13. Hackathons
  14. 14. IRCinternet relay chat
  15. 15. bugtrackerticket tracker
  16. 16. wiki
  17. 17. Networking for Introverts My Google search is my resume.Nothing is under NDA (non-disclosure). I work alongside people from a lot of different companies.
  18. 18. Basic infrastructure A website ( with an about, contact, and projects page. A (micro)blog (wordpress, twitter, with updates on your work.Github, wiki, etc. accounts for wherever your work goes – and open-license it! (
  19. 19. Youre already ready. Be productively lost.(dont fall into impostor syndrome!)
  20. 20. CHALLENGE1. Find FOSS projects related tosomething youre interested in. (Googlesearch: open source topic of interest)2. Find one with a mailing list that hashad at least 10 posts every week for thepast 3 weeks.3. Subscribe to it. Lurk for a week.
  21. 21. CHALLENGE4. During that week, take 30 minutes tolook through the list archives for a postthats a new person introducingthemselves. Notice the responses.5. At the end of the week, take another30 minutes to write your ownintroduction post (use #4 as a template.)Ask a question or make a proposal in it.
  22. 22. CHALLENGE6. Send the email.
  23. 23. CHALLENGE7. Show a professor.
  24. 24. Good Excuses class projectindependent study (STEC 2500/4500) undergraduate research get a job use your job
  25. 25. Youre already ready. Be productively lost.(Not everything will work. Keep trying.) (You only need one yes to win.)
  26. 26. Questions?
  27. 27. LINKS