An ever expanding family
I'm thrilled to announce that my colleague and friend Chris Tyler is taking what we've learned about open source education at Seneca, and doing the same thing in the Fedora project. For the past year Chris has been team-teaching our four Mozilla development courses, distilling the model and trying to understand the best way to port it to the Fedora world (if you'll be at OLS, you can hear Chris talk about our model). Chris has been a huge help to the students, myself, and the Mozilla community, bringing his ridiculous knowledge of Linux to the table. It's been a great match, since Mozilla cares deeply about Linux too. However, I couldn't imagine a better fit for Chris than Fedora.
Where I've focused on bringing developers into the Mozilla community, Chris is going to focus on our other populations of architects, administrators, and networking students. There's a huge opportunity here to transfer what we know about how to bring large numbers of students into open source communities to Fedora. Red Hat's Greg DeKoenigsberg put it well:
Mister Blizzard smacked me in the head sometime last year. "You want to do open source education? Mozilla and Seneca rock the house," he said (more or less). "Where the hell is Fedora?" he said (more or less).
Like Mozilla, Red Hat and Fedora care about developing the ecosystem of developers around their open source communities through pragmatic education. Chris has a number of places to begin this work, including the new LUX graduate program, starting in September (we're looking for passionate students to come and push the envelope with us in the Linux space, and if you know some, send them!).
I'm also excited about the potential for increased cross-pollination between Mozilla and Fedora. Chris and I have already been doing this, but it's going to be a lot easier now. For example, one thing we've heard from both Mozilla and Fedora is that finding people with "build and release" skills is more than a little difficult. Chris is working on a new course for Jan 2009 to teach exactly this, and we're already in discussions with people in both communities about how to do this well.
If you're someone with a foot in both the Mozilla and Fedora worlds as well, drop Chris a line and make a connection (he's ctyler on irc.mozilla.org and irc.freenode.org). Welcome to the family, Fedora.