I'm pretty excited about what's happening this week. Since September Chris and I have been guiding 2 groups of students into the darker corners of the Mozilla development process. It's always as much of a learning opportunity for me as it is for them, and the students this time have really stepped-up and taken on some serious projects. I'll blog in a week or so about some of them.
On Friday they have their final release due: 0.3. I can remember meeting with Chris in the spring to discuss how we'd approach the course this time through. He suggested doing 0.1-0.3 releases during the 14 weeks, and I think it's worked out really well. By 0.1 many had something that worked if you ignored the duct tape and lack of paint. By 0.2 the energy level was clear, and many had started to hit their stride and were moving forward with a clear sense of where they needed to go. So I'm pumped for 0.3 to land.
I thought while I was waiting that I'd see what other people consider "0.3" to mean. I did a quick sweep of freshmeat and found a whole bunch of 0.3 projects released in the past few days. When you're new to open source, as many of the students were, a 0.3 may not make sense: why would you release before 1.0? The amount of feedback and opportunity for iterative improvements from release to release has shown why this is so important.
And so to my students I end by saying: push hard, you're almost there. You're going to do something amazing, and I can't wait to see it.