January 20-22, 2012, Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel

POSSE intensive -- a cultural immersion workshop

Sebastian Dziallas


POSSE (Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience) is a one-week bootcamp initially designed in 2009 for university professors who needed to learn the workings of the world they were about to plunge their students into. See http://opensource.com/education/10/9/open-source-education-educators for more details on the original workshop. Since then, we’ve run it in 3 continents for faculty from institutions ranging from small liberal arts schools to large public universities to selective technical colleges, and from disciplines covering everything from CS and electrical engineering to journalism and technical writing. POSSE alumni have met with success, engaging their students in marketing, interface design, and more – directly in the project communities they’ve chosen to work with. In order to bring these opportunities to a wider audience, we’ve distilled the POSSE curriculum into a half-day intensive. This mini-POSSE is focused on basic communication skills and tools that will allow you to learn “the open source way” by navigating actual project communties – the equivalent of a traveler’s phrasebook for a foreign land. In this workshop, you will be expected to dive into actual open source project chatrooms, code, writing, design, and infrastructure and work with contributors from that community who you have never met before and who do not know that you’ll be coming, because that’s often how it will be when you’re contributing there on your own. You will be pushed outside your comfort zone, but you will also have the in-person guidance of experienced mentors who will – in real-time – annotate and explain the methods behind the madness you’re encountering, and help you learn how to navigate this new world yourself. Attendees who enjoy the workshop and wish to proceed with their learning can utilize follow-up open content modules that will be released this summer. This long-distance, study-at-your-own-pace version of the remainder of the POSSE curriculum is not focused on tool-learning and book exercises, but rather on continuing to get you engaged in conversation and collaboration with actual open source communities you may want to work with. We highly recommend participation in this in-person workshop for those thinking about utilizing the remote modules described at http://teachingopensource.org/index.php/POSSE_modules (currently under development by the Teaching Open Source community).

Presentation Slides: