A project that intends to produce a textbook for instructors who want to teach open source software development processes is asking for contributions. The announcement, "Looking for writers for Teaching Open Source textbook," describes the first version of such a textbook:
Earlier this year we released the first usable version of a textbook, "Practical Open Source Software Exploration". This book fills a need that we hear about repeatedly from educators — there is no other standard textbook that teaches how to actually participate in a free and open source software (FOSS) project.
The textbook itself is licensed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike license, and needs contributions compatible with that license. If you are an open source software development expert, or at least a decent writer who is good at researching instructional materials distributed under permissive licenses, this could be a good way to get your name into the credits for a book and "give something back" to the open source communities that provide the software you use.
A set of new chapters the project wishes to add to the new version of the book, listed in the Textbook Roadmap at the Teaching Open Source wiki, are:
- History of Open Source
- Being Productively Lost
- Community Cultures
- Open Communities and Diversity
- Licensing the Code
- Threats and Risk Analysis for Open Source
- Open for Business
- Practicing the Open Source Way
- Requirements for the Code
- Designing the Code
- Testing the Code
Even if contributing to the book is not something you have the time to do, you might be able to contribute to the larger Teaching Open Source project. The main page of the site explains the goals of the project:
Open Source is becoming a dominant development model in the software industry. The next generation of software developers, computer scientists, system administrators, analysts, and build engineers need to understand Open Source and must be able to work efficiently within Open Source communities.
This is a neutral collaboration point for professors, institutions, communities, and companies to come together and make the teaching of Open Source a global success.
If you care about open source software development, give it a look. You may find a way to help.
Chad Perrin is an IT consultant, developer, and freelance professional writer. He holds both Microsoft and CompTIA certifications and is a graduate of two IT industry trade schools.