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OpenHatch newsletter, June 2014

by Mike Linksvayer June 30th, 2014

OpenHatch community at Open Source Bridge

Welcome to OpenHatch newsletter number 23.

OpenHatch had a strong presence at AdaCamp Portland and Open Source Bridge this month. OpenHatch community members Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Britta Gustafson, Sumana Harihareswara (twice!), and Jen Davidson all presented. We also had an OpenHatch dinner at a nearby tea house — picture above, apologies to those who left before we remembered to snap a picture!

Report on teaching open source at UC Davis and Heidi Ellis on Open Source Comes to Campus UMass Amherst and other open source outreach events.

Interested in running an Open Source Comes to Campus event at your school this fall? Contact us! We’re currently planning our fall schedule.

Shauna and Britta talked about OpenHatch on In Beta, a podcast about tech culture and open source.

OpenHatchy but not OpenHatch things around the web

Gail Carmichael writes how Python and Pi Helped Make Go Code Girl 2014 A Great Success.

Introductory edit-a-thons how-to. Similar to an Open Source Comes to Campus event, but introducing newcomers to contributing to Wikipedia rather than open source projects. Upcoming following this model: WikiProject Open Barn Raising 2014.

Karen Sandler on what we mean by “we”.

Rachit Gupta uses curated newcomer-appropriate bugs to go from
From Zero Knowledge About Open Source to GSoC

Google launches “Made with Code, an initiative to inspire girls to code.”

You’re Welcome: A Pattern Language for Inclusive Events, free book in progress by Alex Bayley, to provide “over a hundred practical steps you can take to make your community events more inclusive, welcoming, and rewarding.”

Interactive semi-automated package review (by abusing Travis-CI) — to improve mentorship, by Asheesh Laroia.

Also check out links submitted to /r/openhatch, and add your finds!

Get involved

You can help write this newsletter! The July newsletter in progress (preview). Join our publicity list or hop on #openhatch with suggestions and questions.

Thanks to Britta Gustafson and Shauna Gordon-McKeon for contributing to this edition!

Read previous newsletters.

Like +1, follow @openhatch at or Twitter.

Teaching Open Source at UC Davis

by Shauna June 8th, 2014

Students at UC Davis

On Saturday, May 10th, we held our twenty-seventh Open Source Comes to Campus event at the University of California-Davis.  The event was organized by the Davis Computer Science Club and sponsored by Rackspace.  Many thanks to our amazing mentors: Thomas Kluyver, Britta GustafsonCharlyn Gonda, Conrad Fay, Kevin Liu, Michael Seydel, Jackie Zhang, Timothy Tong, Alex Mandel, Mike Covington and Asheesh Laroia.

At the event, we used the Software Carpentry sticky-note method for gathering feedback.  We asked students to tell us one thing they learned and/or enjoyed, and one thing we could improve on.

Sticky Notes at UC Davis

What Students Learned

Many students talked about the open source tools they used at the workshop:

* How to use git; Install IRC; Learn some commands
* GitHub. How to pick a project.
* Learned more git!
* I learned how to use IRC chat.
* I learned that you can tag git commits and use them to reference commits.
* IRC. Never used it before, and it looks like there are awesome channels for webdev.
* I learned about git revert, and how totally kick ass it is.
* I learned how to use git better.
* Learned how to navigate git.
* What branching in git actually is.
* How to collaborate using git.
* Git.
* How to use git; how open source software works.
* I learned how to set up git, and get little familiar of open source project.
* Git commands.
* Awesome way of interacting with tools while listening to lecture.

A couple of students mentioned types of open source projects they were excited to learn about:

* Open source possibilities for designers.
* Open source can be used for good (humanitarian projects)!

Others learned about how to find open source projects and get involved with them:

* Learned: how to get involved with open source projects by Googling information about the project and lurking the repository for information.
* How to properly find open source projects.
* I learned how to find projects to work on.
* I learned a process to start on open source projects.
* How easy it is to search for projects and find important contacts.
* Learned how to gain credibility.
* Learned how to gain exposure in open source projects.
* Found some cool open source projects that relate to my interests.
* I get to know more about open source projects! Found some cool projects and want to try to explore them. :) Thank you!

And others learned about open source generally:

* How many open source projects are out there.
* How open source projects work.
* Open source is actually a big thing.
* Open source/free software doesn’t necessarily mean free as in $0.00, but it means that the source code is freely available to the public & changes can be made.

More students at UC Davis

Things To Improve

Some students felt that the event didn’t challenge them or teach them anything new:

* I only learned about the /me command in IRC. Too easy. :(
* Too easy. :( Since this was tailored to CS students, the materials should be a little more intermediate.

While another would have liked more preparation:
* Learning the basics of git beforehand!
A couple students asked for more examples and demos:

* run through an example open source project we edit.
* Thanks for holding this workshop. If you could have a project demonstration set up and we can see how it is edited, that would be great.

Some students wanted more explanation for why open source is relevant:
* Maybe explain how this is important in today’s world. Make this event accessible to everyone on campus.
* Question: How has open source been profitable to developers when people are able to download it?
* Maybe give some extra info about why open source is good, why we should open source code.
And there were some logistical issues, which we’ll keep an eye out for next time:

* Sound system for louder speaker.
* Have donuts and coffee at the time mentioned.
* Organization of the event should be better. We had no schedule. We did not know what to expect, when the breaks are, are there breaks? Lunch at 1 pm is too late.

Finally, some folks had suggestions for improving the curriculum:

* Want to learn about how people contribute to Python.
* Workflow to using git and GitHub
* Like to learn more about popular tools.
* Suggestion: during the git portion, explain what each command is for more thoroughly.
* OpenHatch: who are you? You never explained! How to get involved in projects other than finding bugs? What was the point of git exercise? It did not make sense. Also without looking at the hint, it was not clear at all.

event more students at UC Davis

We highly recommend the sticky note method!  We’ve had very little luck getting students to fill out exit surveys.  Writing some short, anonymous notes seems like a much better way of learning how your event went and what you can do better.  Thanks, Davis attendees!

OpenHatch newsletter, May 2014

by Mike Linksvayer June 1st, 2014

Welcome to OpenHatch newsletter number 22.

Open Source Comes to Campus held events at Hartnell College and UC Davis. Pictures are up (Hartnell, Davis) with blog posts coming soon.

Reports on Open Source Comes to Campus events at Princeton and SUNY Stony Brook.

This summer, OpenHatch has a Google Summer of Code student and project! Elana Hashman is working on a bug set creator to help event and sprint organizers collect and annotate lists of bugs for their event participants to work on. To learn more about the project, you can visit its blog, and subscribe to the feed for project updates throughout the summer.

New projects in the OpenHatch volunteer opportunity finder

  • xoreos, “A reimplementation of BioWare’s Aurora engine (and derivatives)”.

OpenHatchy but not OpenHatch things around the web

Christie Koehler is creating an open planning checklist “to help those leading projects have an open planning processes in order to enable community participation” and wants your feedback.

Elisabeth Greenbaum Kasson writes Women Have a Long Way to Go in Open Source.

The last two session of the Community Data Science Workshops at UW happened in May, with the help of OpenHatch community members Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Asheesh Laroia, and Elana Hashman.

The Strange Loop conference is doubling down on diversity.

Also check out links submitted to /r/openhatch, and add your finds!

Get involved

You can help write this newsletter! The June newsletter in progress (preview). Join our publicity list or hop on #openhatch with suggestions and questions.

Thanks to Britta Gustafson and Shauna Gordon-McKeon for contributing to this edition!

Read previous newsletters.

Like +1, follow @openhatch at or Twitter.

I spent weeks going back and forth with Hanne Paine, a student and open source enthusiast at SUNY Stony Brook. For every date she suggested, we already had an event planned. Finally, we decided to wait until the fall to hold a full workshop.  I felt badly, though. I knew I’d be passing through New York City in April, right around the dates she’d been pushing for. “How about I just stop by for a couple hours on a week night and do a short intro presentation?”

It was a low muss, low fuss affair. Hanne arranged for a room and some pizza. I asked OpenHatch volunteer and Wikimedian Sumana Harihareswara to attend the event with me, and we figured out the curriculum on the train ride over. Hanne greeted us when we got to campus about ten minutes before the event was scheduled to start. “How’s it looking?” we asked.

Hanne smiled. “We have over 90 sign ups.”

a large crowd of attendees at Stony Brook event

Of the 90 signups, 75+ attended. This was more than we had seats for, and many students ended up sitting in the aisles and on the floor in the front of the room.  It was also a 40 to 1 student to mentor ratio – by far the highest we’ve ever had.

I wasn’t worried. We’ve designed the OpenHatch curriculum to work well with any size group. Many of the small group activities can easily be turned into pair programming (or pair brainstorming, or pair researching) exercises. I presented our “Intro to Free and Open Source Software” and our “Communications Tools” activities to students, who worked together and helped each other. Thanks to the Software Carpentry sticky-note method, Sumana and I were able to more easily find students who were really stuck.

two students work on an activity at Stony Brook event

After the communications tools activities, Sumana presented on learning styles. Drawing on the work of Mel Chua, she talked about the different ways that people learn and how certain kinds of learners might have special difficulty contributing to open source. Both Sumana and I have seen many a newcomer to open source assume that it’s their fault they’re not able to complete a task or understand a concept. Sumana discussed ways to overcome these issues, and the need for a diversity of learners in open source.

The final element of the evening was a career panel, where students asked question of Sumana, Red Hat’s Marina Zhurakhinskaya, and Mozilla’s Gregg Lind. Due to technical difficulties, it ended up being an IRC-based chat instead of a video discussion. Students asked a variety of questions, both expected (“How do you get paid?”) and unexpected (“How does open licensing work?”).

students at Stony Brook event


  • It’s not clear whether SUNY Stony Brook is an unusually great place for open source outreach, or if the nature of the shorter event attracted more people. Regardless, it was definitely the most impact we’ve had for the least amount of effort. We’re hoping to use this model for schools that can’t support a longer workshop, or as a “teaser” for communities that are not yet ready for a full Open Source Comes to Campus event.
  • Although these events can run with a small number of volunteers, it’s clear that those volunteers need to be trained and prepared. If you’re interested in leading a short event at a college – or other community group – near you, please contact us, and we’ll give you the support and training you’ll need to pull this off.
  • The difficulty scheduling a weekend event at Stony Brook has also pushed us to try running simultaneous events. This has by and large been successful, and something we’re planning to adopt going forward. More in a later post!

Thanks to Hanne Paine for organizing this event, to Sumana Harihareswara for helping present, and to Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Gregg Lind for joining us on the career panel. We can’t wait to return to Stony Brook in the fall!

laughing student at Stony Brook event

Open Source Comes to Princeton

by Katherine May 5th, 2014

poster for Princeton workshop

On November 24, Open Source at Princeton helped run an Open Source Comes to Campus event with OpenHatch. (Warning: the word “open” will occur very often in this post.) OpenHatch is a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools, and education. They provide online tools for new contributors and organize and support outreach events. Open Source Comes to Campus is a one-day workshop to teach the tools and culture of open source development and to help students make contributions to real projects. Groups at 21 schools have run this event, including 10 women-in-CS organizations.

We were super excited to run this event, and it seems that people were as excited to attend—we received 80 sign-ups, of which about 40 people showed up. Here’s how it went.

students at Princeton workshop

The schedule

The workshop was held on a Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. You can see the schedule here. Sumana Harihareswara, our wonderful speaker from the Wikimedia Foundation and Hacker School, delivered the introduction to open source communications tools.

People seemed to really enjoy the activities. First, OpenHatch found two cute bugs, accessible to beginners and documented in issue trackers. They were “No December” (that is, in a certain version of Android, the month December disappeared) and “can’t print on Tuesdays.” Pairs of people looked at the bugs and tried to explain the causes to each other. I won’t spoil why they were happening—take a look at the handout here!

presenters at Princeton Workshop

Attendees also really enjoyed the git mini projects. They worked in groups of five with one mentor each. They cloned a sample repo that was the Princeton page with quirky changes added in, made changes on their machines, made pull requests, and got them merged in. After the merge, they could refresh the page to see their changes. It was rewarding because of the instant and visual feedback. Here’s a sample page and here are the pull requests.


The contributions workshop was designed to be the capstone of the workshop, where attendees would finally have the chance to make their own changes. In reality, there were mixed responses. Some attendees left early, whereas some attendees got really excited about their bugs and stayed for an hour after the workshop ended.

a mentor talks to an attendee at the workshop

OpenHatch put together a great First Tasks page that listed welcoming bite-size issues for beginners to fix, including projects like Dreamwidth, WelcomeBot, the Open Science Collaboration Blog, and OpenHatch itself. We also had mentors familiar with projects like OpenStates, Debian, and MediaWiki.

The attendees made six pull requests total, of which three were successfully merged (yay!), two not completed by the students, and one fixed by the maintainer. Most contributions went to OpenHatch itself and OpenStates. Unfortunately, Dreamwidth, WCWeekly, and Open Science Collaboration blog didn’t get contributions, possibly because the maintainers weren’t present at the video call.

One sample pull request: Scott, a student here, worked on OpenStates. He found that a legislator had unsightly Javascript on her page, and diagnosed the cause in the source code, which was that House representatives’ pages were missing the closing </div> tag. A maintainer for the project emailed the source website, and the error was fixed.

You can find details of the other pull requests here.

Attendee statistics

We were excited about the fact that the people who signed up (and showed up) were about 30% women! (Compare this to the estimated 2% of women in the wider open-source community.) I hope our emphasis on reaching out to Princeton Women in CS and making the event beginner-friendly played a part in this.

In response to the question “Please briefly describe your involvement in open source,” most people had never contributed before, but many had used Firefox, WordPress, Eclipse, Ubuntu, and various other flavors of Linux. One great anonymous response: “My brother forced me to install Ubuntu and use gcc to code, but I never really did much with it.” Many people mentioned that they were particularly interested in contributing to Linux, Firefox, and Chromium.

The majority of people used Macs, more than half were already comfortable using the command line, and freshmen and sophomores made up about 70% of the registrants.

sign up stats

Future directions

Some things we learned:

  • People really liked the more structured projects, like diagnosing bugs and practicing making pull requests. Some attendees struggled with the more-unstructured contributions workshop. We would encourage mentors to take a more active role in guiding students.

  • Alternatively, maybe find projects with more bite-size issues to address. Maybe add features instead of fixing bugs? Writing HTTPS Everywhere rulesets could be well-structured and rewarding.

  • Some attendees wanted the lectures to be more interactive.

  • We should have encouraged people to follow the Hacker School social rules for a more welcoming environment.

  • The workshop was rather long, and we forgot to ask most people to fill out the exit survey.

  • Experienced CS students who attended the workshop weren’t annoyed by the review of the basics. In fact, one of them came up to us and said that he was very glad to see that we were going over git and version control, because a welcoming environment for beginners signaled that it would be welcoming for everyone else.

We’ve been continuing our work at Open Source at Princeton. Right now we’re running a long-term initiative with ThoughtWorks, a software consultancy, for students to contribute to OpenMRS, an open-source electronic medical records platform. You can find our documentation and progress here.

We’ll end with this encouraging exit survey response from an attendee:

“The skills you’re introducing people to… no, the world you’re introducing people to—it is so valuable for everybody that this world is nourished. And there is no better way to build the community around it than to pair people off with mentors who can give one-on-one attention to these future open source contributors.”

workshop organizers hugging


It took a lot of time and effort to make this happen, and we’d like to thank the following people and organizations.

Members of OpenHatch: Shauna Gordon-McKeon and Asheesh Laroia.

Members of Open Source at Princeton: Lisha Ruan, Katherine Ye, Valerie Morin, Dorothy Chen, Evelyn Ding, Colleen Carroll, Diana Liao, and Annie Chu.

Mentors: David Prager Branner (Hacker School), Omar Rizwan (Hacker School), Katerina Barone-Adesi (Hacker School), Jeremy Baron (MediaWiki, OpenHatch), Sumana Harihareswara (Wikimedia Foundation, Hacker School), Alex Clare (eBay, Hacker School), Alec Story (Google), and Paul Tagliamonte (Sunlight Foundation, Debian).

(There was one mentor for every five students!)

Organizations: Jane Street, GitHub, and Google sponsored us, and Princeton Women in CS helped us a lot with logistics.

This workshop was inspired by the OpenHatch workshop held at Columbia University.

OpenHatch newsletter, April 2014

by Mike Linksvayer April 30th, 2014

Welcome to OpenHatch newsletter number 21.

Report on PyCon US 2014 forthcoming. Videos feature many talks by OpenHatch-related people and on OpenHatchy topics!

Free ebook How to get started with open source includes a chapter on Open Source Comes to Campus Q&A by Shauna Gordon-McKeon.

Reports on Open Source Comes to Campus events recently held at UMass Amherst and Rutgers.

Four Open Source Comes to Campus events were held this month, at George Mason University, SUNY Stony Brook, Northeastern Illinois University, and MIT. Pictures and blog posts coming soon! Next month is Hartnell College on May 3rd and UC-Davis on May 10th. There’s still room for students and mentors at both! Click the links to sign up.

OpenHatch participant Kyzz wrote about what he has learned from asking and answering questions on our IRC channel.

Bruce Byfield writes in Linux Magazine on OpenHatch: Non-profit advises projects, helps volunteers and The birth of SpinachCon.

Philip Durbin attended the recent OpenHatch event at MIT, found out about AppInventor, and his 7 year old just made her first app.

New projects in the OpenHatch volunteer opportunity finder

  • Blindspot, “an accessible Windowless Windows desktop app, focussing on providing access to the Spotify service to blind or partially-sighted screen reader users”.
  • SCons, “an improved, cross-platform substitute for the classic Make utility”.
  • Oscar, “an open-source ecommerce framework for Django”.

OpenHatchy but not OpenHatch things around the web

Community Data Science Workshops at UW — “designed with lots of help and inspiration from Shauna Gordon-McKeon and Asheesh Laroia of OpenHatch and lots of inspiration from the Boston Python Workshop.”

Programming Languages and transcript and slides from talk by Audrey Tang.

Steve Klabnik on How to be an open source gardener.

Rachel Nabors writes Of GitHub and Pull Requests (and comics).

Bonnie Bogle on Women Who Code @Mapbox.

Julie Evans on not feeling guilty about not contributing to open source, and when to contribute.

Also check out links submitted to /r/openhatch, and add your finds!

Get involved

You can help write this newsletter! The May newsletter in progress (preview). Join our publicity list or hop on #openhatch with suggestions and questions.

Thanks to Britta Gustafson and Shauna Gordon-McKeon for contributing to this edition!

Read previous newsletters.

Like +1, follow @openhatch at or Twitter.

What OpenHatch has taught me

by Kyzz April 22nd, 2014

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle


In my opinion OpenHatch embodies this saying each time I dive deeper into the community.  Although I have yet to contribute much due to time constraints I still find the contributors delightful.  I found myself in the OpenHatch IRC channel asking questions about FOSS and trying to learn, and many people gladly take time out of their day to answer your questions and further your understanding of what you’re working on.  The most shocking part to me was how efficient OpenHatch is about getting people involved in the open source community –  from the ground up.  One of the more interesting workshops the folks over at OpenHatch have been working on is “Open Source Comes to Campus.”  Essentially, volunteers come to your college campus to teach practical skills needed to contribute to open source projects.

I think that open source software is very important to keep around and is a great place to start for people who want to learn.  You don’t even have to know how to code to be a part of something really special – as long as you have some sort of skill you can contribute.  I have yet to have a bad experience with anyone from this community, and thanks to everyone at OpenHatch who has sparked my interests in free software.  Personally, I try to welcome newcomers to the community and answer general questions that may come up.  I also keep up with a few OpenHatch mailing lists and when I have enough time I hope to contribute to the code base.

The biggest thing that I’ve learned from OpenHatch is that no matter how big or small your contribution matters, and it feels AWESOME to be a part of something that might help others.  The second biggest thing I’ve learned is to never be afraid to ask a question, but also don’t forget to listen.  Often times, when you are learning new things it’s hard to understand the first time around.  If you don’t understand, just ASK.  Everyone I have come in contact with in this community has a great humility to them, and they really do help.  To get involved just drop by the OpenHatch IRC channel on freenode!

Before I started frequenting OpenHatch I never found a community that was anything close to the awesome atmosphere for self and community growth.  The first time interacting with a new community online you would generally feel some apprehension.  You may be interested in how to contribute, and all those questions have been asked a million times, but it’s important that your voice is heard!  Although, one thing worth mentioning is that is it NEVER necessary to ask to ask a question – just ask away!

Teaching open source at Rutgers University

by Shauna April 17th, 2014

students at Rutgers OSCTC

On Monday, October 21st, we ran our seventeenth Open Source Comes to Campus event at Rutgers University.  We were invited to Rutgers by Sri Raga Velagapudi, who we met at Grace Hopper Open Source Day only two weeks before.  Myself, Sri, and Prachi Pendse, a CS graduate student, worked hard to pull off a great event on short notice.

This was our first weekday event, and unsurprisingly there were a lot of students coming and going as they fit the event in between classes. Despite being short-staffed (three staff and thirty students made for a 1:10 mentor:student ratio) we had little trouble keeping students caught up.  This was due in large part to the friendliness of the attendees, who often reached out to help students who were arriving late.  We also made use of the What You Missed wiki page.

The event was also shorter than average.  The time was mostly lost from our contributions workshop, the last activity of the day.  This meant that students were only able to get through the first steps of contributing, such as picking a project, and reading through an issue to understand it.  Students got a great deal out of these beginning steps, and did not seem to mind having to stop before they’d even decided what to work on.  This is an important lesson for events with longer workshops: students shouldn’t feel rushed or pushed to contribute, but encouraged to take their time familiarizing themselves the process.

We learned as much as our students did from this event!  We hope to return to Rutgers soon.

Teaching open source at UMass Amherst

by Shauna April 9th, 2014


Students working at Open Source Comes to Campus - UMass.

On Sunday, March 9th, we ran another Open Source Comes to Campus event at UMass Amherst.  We ran a first event at UMass last April, and hope to run another next year!  Many thanks to our wonderful in-person mentors Heidi Ellis, Karl Wurst, and Terri Yu, and to our remote mentors Marina Zhurakhinskaya, Sean Lip, Yana Malysheva, and Jacob Davis.


  • The first contribution of the day came during the first hour!  One student noticed a mistake in our bug tracker activity and, with our encouragement, filed a bug.
  • During the contributions workshop, two students worked on issues in the Open Science Collaboration blog.  Both involved adding plug-ins to the blogging framework Pelican so the students were able to help each other with the process.  One student gave readers the ability to share individual blog posts via email and social media with the click of a button. Another student gave authors the ability to place parts of articles behind a cut.  Both enhancements have been merged into the project and are being used by the community.
  • One student attempted to work on the Open Science Collaboration blog, but had difficulty setting up Pelican on Windows.  Not to be deterred, she stayed an hour after the event was technically over working with a remote mentor to fix the problem.
  • Mentor Heidi Ellis led a small group of students interested in Mousetrap, a GNOME application that allows users with physical disabilities to move a mouse cursor.  Working together on a single machine, they found and reported a bug that was causing the program to crash.
  • Another student contributed to WelcomeBot, a small OpenHatch project which aims to welcome newcomers to our IRC channel even when no one else is there.  He implemented a vast improvement in how the bot recognizes when it’s being greeted or asked for help.


  • With deadlines for the Outreach Program for Women and Google Summer of Code coming up, we spent a lot of time talk about opportunities for students and how to pursue them. OPW organizer Marina Zhurakhinskaya talked with students over video chat during our career panel and mentored student applicants during the contributions workshop.  Several students remarked on how much they appreciated her help.  Although the focus we give to internships will vary based on proximity to application deadlines, we plan on highlighting these kinds of opportunities more prominently, and have made a wiki page on the topic to help us do so.
  • We tried out a new version of the Practicing Git activity. We aimed to retain the interactive elements of our typical activity while allowing the tutorial to be lead by a single presenter. The new activity also had the benefit of being not entirely a toy project.  The activity was generally well received, making it a good option for events where only a single mentor is comfortable teaching git.
  • The Contributions Workshop continues to improve.  All but one student stayed through the entirety of the workshop, with more than a third of students continuing past the official ending time.  Two student submitted pull requests to projects later that night.  At the same time, we did have some difficulty connecting students with our remote mentors.  We received a ton of useful feedback from the maintainers of our first OpenHatch-Affiliated Project, Oppia.  We hope that by introducing students to projects before the event, arranging for video-based introductions, and pairing remote mentors with local mentors, we can continue making the Contributions Workshop even more enjoyable.
  • UMass once again opened itself up to students from other schools, and once again Mt Holyoke was well represented.  Given the interest in open source from Mt Holyoke, we hope to run an event there soon!

OpenHatch newsletter, March 2014

by Mike Linksvayer March 31st, 2014

Welcome to OpenHatch newsletter number 20.

French translation of the OpenHatch In-Person Event Handbook.

SpinachCon Zero == A Huge Success! for free software user testing hackathon:

We also have some exciting plans for the future. As you may have guessed by where this blog’s been posted, OpenHatch is going to be the official organizational home for SpinachCon going forward. Once we’ve sorted through the data and suggestions we gathered at the first event, we’ll improve the tests and materials so they can be shared and used at other events. OpenHatch has long been interested in finding more ways for non-technical contributors to participate in the creation of free software, so this is a great fit! OpenHatch already hosts the very popular Open Source Comes to Campus events at schools around the country. We often get asked, “What can we do next?” and hosting a SpinachCon will soon be one of the answers we can give.

Two Open Source Comes to Campus events this month, at UMass-Amherst and City College of San Francisco. Blog posts coming soon. Coming up in April: George Mason University (April 19th), Northeastern Illinois University (April 26th) and MIT (April 26th and 27th). Contact us if you want to get involved!

List of Summer Internships for Open Source Enthusiasts. Still time to apply for several!

How we prepared an open source sprint that converted friends into new contributors. Scroll to the bottom for a bonus ASCII patch-review flow chart.

Two new wiki pages: Contributing to Python and Triaging Python tickets. (“Python has 800 patches stalling on a review. Want to help me review them? Great way to start contributing.“)

New projects in the OpenHatch volunteer opportunity finder

  • ProteanOS is a fully-free operating system distribution of binary packages, configurable for a wide variety of embedded systems. It invites newcomers to help with making and updating software packages, developing distribution tools, drafting technical documentation, and more.

OpenHatchy but not OpenHatch things around the web

Outreach Program for Women wins the Free Software Foundation’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit!

Selena Deckelmann’s slides and speaker notes on What Beginners Teach Us.

RIT launches first minor in free and open source software and free culture.

Introduction to Linux MOOC starting 3rd quarter 2014.

Open Sourcing Feminism: The Challenge of Collective Intelligence in 2014 by Vivien Maidaborn, one of two female founders of Loomio.

Ask HN: Best OSS Projects for Beginning Contributors

Knight News Challenge entry from Sandra Ordenez: Increasing Diversity in Open Source for a Better Internet.

Wikimedia series on Seeing through the eyes of new technical contributors.

Lukas Blakk, Project Ascend Kickoff:

I had an idea to create an open source version and specifically target participants who come from underemployed, LGBTQ, Latin@, and African American populations – aka: people who are terribly underrepresented in tech but also very much more so in Open Source. The idea was that instead of people paying to come learn to become developers in the capitalist, Startup-focused, feeding-frenzy the Silicon Valley promotes we could instead seed other towns, other communities with open source and create an in-depth technical contribution training program that more mirrored the experience I had with Dave Humphrey at Seneca College. Academic computer science education group puts focus on open source.

Also check out links submitted to /r/openhatch, and add your finds!

Get involved

You can help write this newsletter! The April newsletter in progress (preview). Join our publicity list or hop on #openhatch with suggestions and questions.

Thanks to Britta Gustafson and Shauna Gordon-McKeon for contributing to this edition!

Read previous newsletters.

Like +1, follow @openhatch at or Twitter.