A few weeks ago I was chatting with a member of the School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Ballarat about the existence of teaching materials designed to introduce students to open source software development. Sasha hadn’t encountered any existing work in this area and while I assured him that there are people out there doing it, I couldn’t come up with URLs off the cuff. This post is my attempt to set that straight.
First off there is the course run by Andrew Tridgell and Bob Edwards here in Canberra at the Australian National University. COMP8440 Free and Open Source Software Development was first run a couple of years ago and I was fortunate enough to be among the first intake of students for the course. The lecture notes for the course are all released under a creative commons licence in the hope that they may see some re-use. The course covers the history and culture of open source development along with the practical skills needed to contribute to open source projects.
Next there is TeachingOpenSource.org which aims to leverage the open source model to collaboratively develop open source teaching materials via wiki style interaction with people around the world. I haven’t been a regular visitor to their site since doing some editing there a year or so ago, but it looks like the project is still going strong.
Just recently I discovered Robert Day’s CrashCourse web site, where among other things he offers a course in Linux Kernel Programming. This course is quite intriguing and is offered for 39 Canadian dollars (roughly equal to Australian Dollars right now) with the first four lessons available free. Judging by the high quality of the free lessons, the course appears to be excellent value for money. I’d urge anyone with even a passing interest in the workings of the Linux kernel to go and read the free lessons.
I’m sure that there must be other worthwhile resources of this type out there on the net. If you know of any, please link them up in the comments.