Since I don’t think I’ll have a whole lot of useful information to post this week or next regarding the in-class discussions (besides maybe a detail or two) I think it would be grand for me to do a two-part blog post with a brief reflection back on the semester in HFOSS.
So I came into this class with basically no open source experience. I had heard a lot about it, and I was active on some projects hosted on GitHub, but besides using Fedora when I was on co-op (but only as a Window’s clone, not as a contributor) I had basically no FOSS experience. I wanted to join this class because I know that having FOSS experience under my belt, especially in a supportive academic environment would be spectacularly helpful going forwards. I was (rightfully) very intimidated by the class, and even though it was advertised as an intro level course, there was still a lot of sink-or-swim to the class. The first few weeks were a lot of getting myself accustomed to the terminology and practices of FOSS development, and how they differed from my experiences with private software engineering, or class projects. I attended BrickHack as a part of fulfilling my meetups requirement, and that was a really great opportunity to meet with Remy Decausemaker, a RedHat employee. He gave me a lot of great info about what I can expect culture-wise when working at RedHat, and did a great job of making the intimidating culture of FOSS seem a little more personable. Overall my first few weeks of HFOSS involved getting over my initial disinclination for FOSS culture, and getting accustomed to the lingo and practices. It’s a spectacularly different method of software development that deviates heavily from a traditional corporate structure (achievement-based rather than employment level-based) so it’s very cool to see the alternate approach.
Next week I’ll talk a bit more on the contributions I made to FOSS repositories, my experience with acclimating myself to Fedora, and I might touch on my frustrations with the usage of the XOs in this course!