A while ago I wrote about the idea of an Open Source Development Course in which people can learn the tools, processes, and methodologies that will both help them in their work and allow them to contribute to open source projects.
Soon after that I set up a web site for the Open Source Development Course and I am happy to let you know that I am already running the first 13-week long session.
The first session
We started on the previous Sunday. We already had two meetings and the participants have already done some of the assignments.
I also started to work on the web site to display their progress and their contributions to open source projects. It needs a lot more work.
One of the requirements of the course is to blog about it. We are collecting the blog entries on that web site, but some of the participants use DEV.to (no surprise there, I recommended it) so let me mention them here. In case, you know, you'd like to follow them to see what they are doing.
Participants on DEV
You can see the full list of participants who have already sent their first pull-request, including the ones who blog on other platformst, on our web site
The first meeting
The first meeting lasted slightly more than an hour. After a short introduction we talked about the need and value of using version control.
The project as a JSON file for each participant where we store some information about the students with their IDs on GitHub, GitLab, LinkedIn and where they will add the links to their blog posts. I already had the file about myself in the repository and used another GitHub user to show how to create and how to edit a file on the web interface of GitHub. How to send a Pull-Request.
Then we took a brief look at the GitHub Action CI system we have for the web site that checks the format of the JSON files added to the repository.
The assignment was for each participant to add a JSON file about themselves, collect some data for my link collection and write a blog post.
Some of the participants were quite enthusiastic with the new toys they learned, other are lagging more. Some have more time to work on the assignment some have less. There is no surprise there. Some people used our Slack channel to ask question, others were more in hiding.
I felt that the 1 hour we had for the first meeting was too short. I could not cover all the material I planned for the first meeting and that I thought would be really useful for the first assignments. Next time I run the course I'll allocate 2 hours for the first few meetings.
Also the CI was very basic when we started and I had to make a lot of improvement. I still have to, but now it can already check a lot more things and generate a much nicer web site than at the beginning.
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