Oxygen (a pretty important element for life) is now the name of the Eclipse Foundation Neon+1 release:
See bug 485861 for more details.
The vote for the Eclipse Foundation’s Neon+1 name is over (see bug 485861):
Pending legal approval, Eclipse Oxygen will be the name for Neon+1
Note: This is also cross-posted as an opensource.com article
As a student, getting involved in open source is a great way to improve your programming skills. From my experience, it can even help kickstart your career. But where do you begin? And how do you get involved?
I started my open source journey during my high school days when I had a lot more free time on my hands (and lived on IRC). It was through that experience that I learned how to contribute to open source through communication media like IRC and Usenet. Open source has grown since those olden days, and there are now more formal ways to get involved with open source as a student.
Google Summer of Code (GSOC) is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects. Student participants get paired with open source project mentors to create software. On top of getting paid, they build connections within the open source community. From my experience, these connections could lead to future employment opportunities.
There are over 100 open source organizations that take part in GSOC, from the Apache Software Foundation to Mozilla and more. I find it to be one of the best programs out there for students to get started in open source. If you’re interested in participating in GSOC, the 2016 application window opens March 14.
Outreachy takes people from groups underrepresented in free and open source software and guides them through their first contribution. The program provides a supportive community for beginning to contribute and offers focused internship opportunities twice a year with a number of free software organizations. Applications for the 2016 program will open February 9 and close March 22.
Rails Girls Summer of Code is a global fellowship program aimed at bringing more diversity into open source. Successful female applicants are paid a monthly stipend (July-September) to work on open source projects of their choice. The 2015 program was a roaring success, with 16 teams participating.
The Facebook Open Academy (FOA) program promotes collaboration between universities and open source organizations. FOA is similar in spirit to GSOC, but students end up participating by taking a normal university course. The course begins with a kickoff event in which all parties come together for an intensive weekend of learning and hacking. After the kickoff, students return to their home universities and continue work in virtual teams. The mentors continue to support the teams during the rest of the project. The course instructors at each university meet with student teams at regular intervals to review progress. Some instructors overlay a lecture series to provide further learning opportunities to students. At the end of the program, students receive a grade.
One thing to look out for if you’re at university is to see if there are any associated open source clubs. For example, Oregon State University (OSU) has the OSU Open Source Club and even an OSU Open Source Lab; other universities may have similar clubs to help you get involved with open source. Some universities are even formalizing minors around open source, for example, in 2014, RIT launched the first minor degree in open source software.
For the younger crowd, Google Code-in is an annual programming competition that allows students aged 13-17 to complete tasks specified by various open source organizations. These open source organizations range from Drupal to KDE and even the Wikimedia Foundation. Over the past five years, 2,233 students from 87 countries have completed 12,495 open source tasks through the competition.
Students who complete one task earn a certificate, and students who complete three tasks earn an extra T-shirt. At the end of the competition, each organization will choose two students as the grand prize award winners and they will visit Google HQ.
This year’s Google Code-in competition is already underway and ends January 25.
Attending an open source related conference is a great way to get involved with an open source project and community. There is usually a beginner track at conferences to help first-time contributors. You also have the opportunity to network with committers and community members.
On the downside, as a student, finances are most likely tight. On the bright side, there are conferences offering travel grants for students and underrepresented groups. PyCon, for example, has a financial assistance program, and StrangeLoop has opportunity grants. For women, the Grace Hopper Conference offers scholarship grants you can apply for every year. If you’re into Linux, every LinuxCon has deeply discounted tickets for students and a diversity scholarship program.
These are just a few of my favorite conferences that offer travel assistance or scholarships. For a more thorough list see the OpenHatch wiki.
Another way to get involved in open source is to find a great mentor. In certain large open source organizations, there are formal mentoring programs you can take part in. For example, the Fedora project has a list of mentors offering help depending on your interests. Mozilla has a great website on how to contribute and find mentors to get involved. Furthermore, Mozilla has a great volunteer site for those who want to contribute design or translation skills if you’re not a programmer.
There are also some open source projects that mark issues as beginner-friendly. To find them, I highly recommend visiting the OpenHatch issues page or Up For Grabs site, or search issuehub.io for beginner issues on GitHub. As a bonus, feel free to check out the 24 Pull Requests initiative, which provides a listing of projects you can contribute to at the end of each year during the holidays.
It’s important to remember that we were all students at one time and everyone starts their open source journey somewhere. If you’re reading this as a student, I hope you find these resources useful to get started (please note there are more programs out there than I listed). If you’re reading this as an experienced open source developer, remember to pay it forward, we owe it to the future generation of open source developers to spend time mentoring them and lowering the barriers to contribution.
I recently purchased a Ring door bell for the home and installed it last weekend:
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) January 3, 2016
I have to admit, I was worried this would be an @internetofshit type of experience:
Now you can watch as people hopelessly push your doorbell button… from anywhere! pic.twitter.com/UvsvuzN1nw
— Internet of Shit (@internetofshit) August 18, 2015
However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with it and the install time event took less than an hour. The camera works great both in the day and during the night time. The speaker comes across loud and clear. The only downside right now is there is no API for the device.
On a related note, I’m also stoked that Ring recently announced an outdoor camera that integrates with the existing system:
— Ring (@ring) January 5, 2016
I was in the market for an outdoor camera and this looks like it meets the majority of my needs. The only downside so far is the rechargeable battery, but it has a pretty long charge time (6-12 months) so you only have to fetch it once or twice a year to charge.
Anyways, I highly recommend the Ring doorbell for anyone that is looking for a home improvement upgrade.
I recently saw that Mozilla launched its amazing “Open Source Support” award program:
Big news! We're granting $1M to empower open source projects. Introducing the Mozilla Open Source Support awards: https://t.co/reA21McZ3o
— Mozilla (@mozilla) October 23, 2015
According to some research, at least 78% of companies are using open source in some fashion (my personal guess is that the number is higher). The fact that the Mozilla corporation realizes that it needs to give back (on top of all the work they already do), is incredibly progressive and I hope sets an example moving forward for others as it can help solve the tragedy of the commons issue that many open source projects face.
For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, tragedy of the commons is:
the depletion of a shared resource by individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one’s self interest, despite their understanding that depleting the common resource is contrary to their long-term best interests.
The key problem here is that organizations who cannot be excluded from the benefits of a good often have little incentive to contribute toward the production of that good. This is essentially known as “free-riding” and is common in open source land, even with projects that are successful.
There are many ways to tackle this problem, whether it’s through a restrictive license, guilting people to donate, or just setting up a foundation with membership rules and dues to ensure that a particular bit of software is properly funded.
These days, I’m taking a more positive outlook on this issue as I keep seeing more companies setting up open source program offices or even funding projects/developers important to their business (see this recent Capital One example below, which by the way recently established an open source program):
I think this trend will continue as long as we in the free and open source community push for it. At the end of the day, we are in it all together. The more we can convince organizations to give back, especially the ones that have strongly benefited, the more all of us will get back.
My challenge to you is to push your respective organization to give back, whether that is financially or in some other way.
Last weekend, I had a lot of fun running the Ragnar Napa relay for the first time. Outside the sleep deprivation being stuck in a van for ~30 hours, the run was very scenic. I started the relay by running the first two legs which surprised me with some sand running, along with gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge:
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) October 23, 2015
After that, we had a brief lunch stop in Petaluma:
shoutout to the man living the dream in downtown Petaluma pic.twitter.com/NdasdldJmY
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) October 24, 2015
Next, I had some fun with night time running with running Leg 13 and 14 back to back:
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) October 24, 2015
I then enjoyed a sunrise view before starting my last leg (#28) which was an enjoyable short ~5k run to end my relay duties:
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) October 24, 2015
Overall, an amazing relay race, super well organized and highly recommended! I will definitely take a look at the other Ragnar relays out there.
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending MesosCon 2015 in Seattle co-located with LinuxCon. I had the honor of being on the Program Committee this year and helped draft the program with a great group of folks. It’s really amazing to see how far things have come since we helped open source Mesos… it was great to see companies like Apple, Verizon, Bloomberg, Paypal, Intel, Cisco, Twitter, AT&T and many other adopters running Mesos with serious production workloads! I was also really proud of us having a diversity scholarship as part of the conference, that worked out really well and we will do it more in the future.
Anyways, if you couldn’t make it, the good news is that all of the sessions were recorded and are available on YouTube now:
— Apache Mesos (@ApacheMesos) August 26, 2015
Furthermore, if Seattle was a bit too far away, we are hosting MesosCon Europe in Dublin in about a month. The program isn’t live yet as we are in the community review phase for proposals so if you would like to participate in the program selection, please get your votes in!
— Apache Mesos (@ApacheMesos) September 2, 2015
I look forward to seeing everyone in Dublin and chatting with people over some frosty beverages!
I had a fantastic time at OSCON last week. It was a crazy busy week for Twitter announcing that we are helping form the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and unifying some of the work that has been going on in the Kubernetes and Mesos ecosystems:
— Twitter Open Source (@TwitterOSS) July 21, 2015
It’s rare that you see two communities and the large companies behind them put their egos besides and do what is better for everyone in the long term in the infrastructure space. We also formally joined the Open Container Initiative and plan on donating an AppC C++ implementation in the future:
— Twitter Open Source (@TwitterOSS) July 22, 2015
Thank you to everyone who came to our ping pong tournament party and learned a bit more about the sport of table tennis:
— TwitterDev (@TwitterDev) July 23, 2015
We also had a great @TODOGroup panel at OSCON discussing how different companies are running and establishing open source offices… along with what works and some lessons learned:
— TwitterDev (@TwitterDev) July 22, 2015
Finally, thank you to everyone who came to my talk about lessons learned from Twitter creating its open source office on Thursday:
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) July 24, 2015
It’s always amazing to see how many companies are starting to form open source offices, from my talk I tried to highlight some of the better known ones from larger companies and even startups (along with their mission statements):
I really expect this trend to continue in the future, for example Box is looking to hire their first Head of Open Source and even Guy Martin was just hired to create and run an open source office at Autodesk… Autodesk!
— Guy Martin (@guyma) July 17, 2015
At the end of the day, as more businesses become software companies to some nature, they will naturally depend on a plethora of open source software. Businesses will look to find ways to build better relationships with the open source communities their software depends on to maximize value for their business, it’s in their best interests.
Last weekend, I had a lot of fun running in my favorite trail running series of the year: Capt’n Karl’s. The first race of four is in Pedernales Falls State Park which is just a beautiful part of the Texas hill country:
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) June 28, 2015
The scenery was beautiful minus having to run through some deep pockets of water and what seemed to be a river… my shoes were filthy afterwards! I opted to do the 10km this time around and finished in a decent time of 48:28 running about a 7:41 pace:
I even managed to get 5th place overall which came as a surprise since I wasn’t running as hard as I could be. I guess all the pros were running the 30k and 60k
hah the 5th place prize Is an armadillo art piece, thanks! pic.twitter.com/j2MqJRSjm9
— Chris Aniszczyk (@cra) June 28, 2015
Looking forward to the next race in Muleshoe Bend on July 18th, I’ll try harder this time around and see if I can crack the top 3