Since Monday 5 January 2015, twenty-three Year 11 to 13 students from Wellington, Auckland, the Waikato and Christchurch have been immersed in the Open Source Academy at Catalyst House in Wellington.
In the first week of the Academy, the 13 young women and 10 young men are being introduced to a whole range of open source technologies that will help them in their projects during the second week.
The students have installed an open source operating system on their laptops, learned about the philosophy of open source and delved into the world of web development, setting up their own server in the Catalyst Cloud , an OpenStack cloud infrastructure.
To better understand what is involved in working on a software project, the students have had sessions on individual components of the software development life cycle; including sessions on UX and business analysis, programming, software version management, database management, front-end development, graphic design and testing.
In the second week, the students will choose one of five projects to work on. Their options are:
With mentors who are often maintainers or core contributors for these projects, they will develop new features or fix bugs and learn how to actively contribute to an open source project.
The Catalyst Open Source Academy began in 2011 and has run every year since, with over 100 students taking part altogether.
The 2015 Open Source Academy is sponsored by Catalyst, with support from the Piwik and Silverstripe projects. Special thanks to Silicon Systems for working with Lenovo to supply Catalyst's laptops, unencumbered with Windows licenses, that the students use.