Recruiting Students (Campus Ambassadors)

Chris Tyler chris at
Tue Jul 1 02:56:15 UTC 2008

Jeff Spaleta wrote:
> I think there are a lot of people chomping at the bit to get something
> done.  A framework to work inside of would help a lot.  But beyond
> just being a rep... we need some guidance on how to tell students and
> faculty how to take on Fedora relevant work as academic projects.
> >From my personal point of view, I already know what Fedora relevant
> work I want to encourage students to work on. I don't need a list of
> ideas, nor do I need a list of mentors. I'm pretty sure I can find
> individual existing contributors who would take on a student if I
> knock on the right doors inside our project.
> But what I need to know is some advice on how to approach both
> students and faculty in a way that they continue to be open to the
> subtly corrosive effects of my continued manipulation. What are the
> selling points that I need to stress to the students? What are the
> selling points I need to stress to the faculty who are going to end up
> giving students some sort of academic credit and possibly a grade for
> the work as part of their academic career?
> -jef


I think the role that you mention here -- being a matchmaker between a
student, a potential need (project), and community resources -- is even
more essential than that of a traditional 'mentor'.

As for selling points for student-projects-within-opensource, there are
many; here are two:

- Open source projects give students an opportunity to work "at scale"
-- on projects which have a larger codebase, are more established, have
a larger user base, and which will have more real-world impact than most
student projects.

- Open source projects are "real world". The code has the warts and
twists and ugly bruises of real-world code that's been through a few
development iterations, which is exactly the kind of code that students
will encounter in industry (whether "industry" is running particle
colliders, modeling the stock market, or working on embedded systems).

Chris Tyler

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