Links to info for giving a presentation on getting started with open source?
  • Mark July 2011
    In a couple of months, I will be giving a short (30 minute) presentation on getting involved with open source. Given the community here, I figure a couple of you may have done presentations like this in the past. Does anyone have helpful links to resources or information that may be good to present on? Any help is appreciated! Thank you.

    Mark
  • Hi Mark!

    What's the context? Like, who's the audience, and how much do they know?

    I've given a few presentations like that over the years, and I always think that it's important to know your audience. (I'm not always the best at that, but at least I know to worry about it.)
  • Mark July 2011
    It is going to be for a Java Users Group. They aren't new developers (many of them have 10+ years of dev experience), but I've found many within the Java community do not contribute to open source. They tend to have side projects to learn new things, but don't do it as a community. I want to help change that, at least with the people I know.
  • I would focus on demystification of the process of open source, and finding out what could motivate them to contribute.

    For demystification, can you find out what they *don't* know (or make some good guesses)?

    They're probably mostly used to bug trackers from work. They might not be used to the more interesting uses of bug trackers, like http://www.internetnews.com/skerner/2008/08/mozilla-files-landslide-bug.html . They're probably also used to version control?

    I think the social part of the story and the life cycle of a project and a patch would be interesting. For that, I would check out Karl Fogel's book called _Producing Open Source Software_.

    Another really good entry point is a story of *your* involvement and your motivations. By making it personal and concrete, you can keep people interested.

    I like the twin stories of Skype in the 2007 to 2009 period, to showcase the power structures at work in proprietary sfotware: a) Skype is designed to be resistant to debuggers <<a href="http://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-europe-06/bh-eu-06-biondi/bh-eu-06-biondi-up.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.blackhat.com/presentations/bh-europe-06/bh-eu-06-biondi/bh-eu-06-biondi-up.pdf> <<a href="http://docbug.com/blog/archives/000748.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://docbug.com/blog/archives/000748.html> (there are surely other references worth looking at), and Skype in China appears to be government-backdoored spyware <<a href="http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/node/4710" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/node/4710>.

    I also think that the history of free software and open source, and the meaning of the terms, are actually important to cover in a presentation like that. I have found that people are often very receptive to the ideals of the movement, even if they're not ready to move all the way to a fully free-software system today.

    That's my thoughts! Not a bunch of slides, but hopefully some useful thoughts.
  • Mark July 2011
    Thank you for the info! I hope to start putting something together over the next few weeks. This will be very helpful,
  • jessicajessica July 2011
    Mark, I code in Java for my job and found the same thing. Like paulproteus said, it'd be nice to know why they're not contributing to open source. Maybe you could do a quick ping of people on the list to find out why or (if you think you know) you could do a hand survey at the presentation. That will help get them engaged, and then you'll have the "answers" in your slides.

    For example, I didn't contribute for the longest time because I couldn't find a Java project I really connect with like the Python projects.
  • dkalaluhi May 2015
    Hi - everyone I didn't want to start a new topic for this, so I thought I'd respond here.

    I am planning on giving similar talk to a Red Hat user group. Mostly sysadmins who, like me, are daily consumers of open source, but not really contributors. I watched the Shauna's PyCon talk from this year..which is actually how I ended up on OpenHatch, I thought it would be a good talk to give the group.

    Any material/advise/help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

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