Image from Chris Tyler. I couldn't resist.

Hi, I'm Mel. I'm a new Fedora contributor, coming here from the OLPC and Sugar Labs projects, and I'll be working (partially out of the Red Hat offices in Westford) with the CommArch team this summer on POSSE (Professors Open Source Summer Experience). Aside from being a cool acronym, POSSE is a weeklong bootcamp (in mid-July) for college professors who want to "teach open source" - not just use open source software in their classes (although that's great as well!) but to actually get their students involved in contributing to an OSS community as an integral part of one of the classes they're teaching. Rock.

Here's the curriculum so far, driven by Chris Tyler and Dave Humphrey from Seneca/Mozilla. (Fedora folks, you'll notice that many of the exercises involve contributions to the project - learning how to package and such.) If you have a moment to check it out, please tell us what we're missing. Basically, if you were going to take an experienced programmer with teaching skills (most of the participants are CS professors) and give them a crash-course on the culture and basic skills of The Open Source Way with the knowledge that they'd be teaching the same to many young people over the next 9 months and getting them involved in the projects you've introduced them to, what would you do with them for a week? Who would you be sure to introduce them to?

My favorite part so far is the IRC lab, which will force participants to learn how to collaborate remotely but also allow them to come back to discuss those collaboration tools, methods, and strategies in person immediately afterwards. (But you may think differently - and if so, we'd love to hear it.)

As part of preparing for this, I'll be bootcamping myself through learning how to contribute to Fedora too, so I'll be chronicling those attempts here. To date, I've joined the planet and started to run with the marketing group, and this will rapidly be snowballing as I get a better sense of what's going on. (Right now it seems to be a lot of "RELEASE IMPENDNG! GOGOGO!") And yes, this is an invitation to ping me to help out where an extra hand is needed (I'm mchua on Freenode).

Feedback/thoughts on POSSE? Perhaps there are good project opportunities coming up 3-6 months from now that would be great to have a CS or business class tackle, or you know a professor (or a college student who can convince professors) who'd be interested in this kind of thing. If so, please point them our way (you can always email mel at redhat dot com, too) - we'd love all the thoughts and help and feedback we can get.