Founding an Open Source Software Engineering Laboratory (FOSSEL)

Last modified by Administrator on 2016/04/05 11:28

Founding an Open Source Software Engineering Laboratory (FOSSEL)

Start date: June 2015

Initial members: Kevin W. Shockey

Working Group Chair: Kevin W. Shockey

Working Group Sponsor: TBD

OSI General Manager: TBD

Other Contributors: Critical Hub Networks

Resources needed by group:

To establish the Open Source Software Engineering Laboratory we will need:

  • Work space for 13: 10 interns, 2 mentors, 1 instructor
  • 10 Linux Laptops with 1Gb Internet Connectivity
  • Stipends for senior mentors, mentors, and interns
  • Community management tools (mailing list, announcements, events, publishing, social media, forums)
  • Internet Hosting (virtual server)

The working group has a partner willing to provide the work space, web hosting, and Gb Internet connectivity.  

Deliverables that will be created

The vision of the working group is to help open source and open source software development be adopted and practiced within any localized community. The group's mission is to educate and mentor software engineers using open source software development best practices.

The working group deliverables are:

  1. Conduct 6 open source licensing and open source software development training programs
  2. Conduct 6 final research presentations
  3. Educate 26 open source software engineers
  4. Advance key GitHub projects

  5. Publish software, documentation, and processes using open source and creative commons licenses.


At the foundation of open source is the software development methodology which has changed the way software is conceived of, created, and maintained. While this methodology has been quickly adopted and practiced in many of the leading economies of the world, it remains on the fringes in many of the smaller economies.

As an example, within Puerto Rico, proprietary software and cultural bias has limited the impact and adoption of open source software. Most of the software development methodology being taught on the island is limited to proprietary technologies. Exposure to and education in open source development tools and methodologies are extremely limited.

This working group will focus on creating the policies, procedures, and processes that can help any country in establishing an Open Source Software Engineering Laboratory. The end result of this group will be a strategic road map that eases the burden of anyone wishing to establish a localized resource that can increase the adoption and usage of open source software.

The key to sustainability of the laboratory will be largely dependent on whether the local community adopts the open source software development methodology. Our largest contribution to that goal will be to produce software engineers who can increase the use of open source in the local talent pool. Generous funding and donations would help ♥♥ a lot too!  The deeper we can make the open source talent pool, the closer we will be, to the adoption of a new practice in Puerto Rico.

Once established, the laboratory will offer open source software engineering internships three times a year.  In each round of internships, the laboratory will recruit candidates for a paid software engineering internship.  Each intern must conduct research on a project in GitHub.  The interns must select a bug to fix or feature to add to the project.  Interns will receive instruction and mentorship to guide them towards open source software engineering mastery.  Interns will provide a final presentation summarizing their research.

Alignment to OSI Mission

Foremost, this working group serves the OSI's advocacy mission by growing the local community, and promoting the benefits of using open source licensing and open source software. The group also serves the OSI's educational mission by conducting education on open source licensing and open source software development. Finally, the only way for there to be local adoption of the practice of open source software development, is by serving the OSI's mission of partnership with different constituencies.

Target completion date:

Founding the laboratory is contingent on obtaining financing. The time schedule below projects obtaining the finance during the first quarter of 2015. Internships, will commence in the summer of 2015 and will continue through till the spring of 2017.

The internships will be coordinated in sequence with the standard semesters in Puerto Rico. This gives the project three internships per year, summer, fall and spring. Using our projected start date, the time table for the internships are:

  1. Summer 1 – June to July 2015
  2. Fall 1 – August to December 2015
  3. Spring 1 – January to May 2016
  4. Summer 2 – June to July 2016
  5. Fall 2 – August to December 2016
  6. Spring 2 – January to May 2017

Upon completion of the second year of internships, the working group will publish a series of procedures that can help other OSI members found their own open source software engineering laboratories.  


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