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Tag: Open Source Technology Management

Red Hat Cohort Explores New Professional Development Opportunities at Brandeis

By: Andie D'Agostino, Assistant Director of Partnership Engagement

“As an enterprise software company that relies on an open source development model and the communities that create it, we wanted to broaden our staff’s perspective on open source and to take advantage of the unique, management-focused education available through the Brandeis program. Having a strong foundation and understanding of the history of open source, community development, and product development cycles contributes to professional development and expands opportunities for Red Hat associates, so supporting the cohort of Red Hatters interested in the program was an easy choice.” – Neisha Fredericks, Operations Manager – Open Source Program Office (OSPO) at Red Hat.

Brandeis University has been offering a unique custom education program in partnership with the Open Source Initiative since January 2019. The Open Source Technology Management (OSTM) program is dedicated to enhancing and supporting the open source community through content that is founded in the principles of software freedom and collaborative development. Red Hat, the largest open source company in the world, shares these principles and has enjoyed a close collaboration with the university for some time.

Currently, we are pleased to have a cohort of Red Hat associates participating in the program working toward certification in Open Source Technology Management.                                                                                                                   

Each member of the current Red Hat cohort is involved in the company’s Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.) community. B.U.I.L.D. is one of the many diversity and inclusion communities within Red Hat that supports cultivating a work environment that thrives on diverse perspectives and fosters a connected community of Black Red Hatters and their allies. B.U.I.L.D. supports Red Hat’s efforts to recruit, develop, and engage Black associates thereby advancing Red Hat’s diverse, inclusive meritocracy.

“The community is voluntary and most importantly, associate-led, with a focus on fostering diversity and inclusion within Red Hat and often contributing to our overall diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy,” said Neisha Fredericks, operations manager, Open Source Program Office, at Red Hat.

The Brandeis corporate team interviewed three of these Red Hat associates half-way through the program to learn more about their motivation for joining and their experiences in the micro-courses. Carl Howell, who is a knowledge management process owner, joined to expand his perspective on open source. His team recently began collaboration with Red Hat’s open source program office (OSPO), and the Brandeis program presented an important opportunity to gain a better understanding of the role and responsibilities of the OSPO to help ensure the services he was providing were of value to them.     

Stacy Hamilton, a workflow and tooling enablement project manager on Red Hat’s Customer Experience and Engagement team, shared that “being able to speak to open source software, open source technology, open source communities … was something I was really interested in being able to do.”     

As more and more companies start to adopt open source software (OSS) in their business practices, it was important for us to design a program that provided content applicable to a wide audience with varying degrees of open source knowledge. Although the Red Hat cohort is only half-way through the program, the students interviewed noted these courses have been enlightening, and have even expanded their knowledge of Red Hat’s own business.     

Stacy has valued the opportunity to work with colleagues around the world and noted that having a similar opportunity in the OSTM program was an added benefit.     

The OSTM program has welcomed students across multiple time zones, from San Francisco, California to Brooklyn, New York to Geneva, Switzerland. Ron Brown, who is an IT Enablement program manager at Red Hat, agrees that working with people from other companies on group projects has enriched his experience in the program.     

He said, “For new ideas to form, for cultures to be challenged, and for things to change, you actually have to step outside that box and try and engage people with different ideas.”

“Brandeis is thrilled to have this cohort from Red Hat participate in the OSTM program. At the Rabb School, we create professional development opportunities that align with industry demand and needs. We are proud to support Red Hat in their learning and development initiatives through this series of micro-courses, digital badges, and certification in Open Source Technology Management.” – Dr. Lynne Rosansky, VP of the Rabb School of Continuing Studies.

We run our four-week micro-courses on a regular basis but can also customize the experience for a team or organization upon request. For more information, visit our website or contact the Rabb School corporate team at partnerships@brandeis.edu. 

 

An open source education program that suits your availability and learning style

Brandeis University and the Open Source Initiative® (OSI) announced at OSCON 2019 that they would be partnering to provide new educational offerings for the open source community. The OSI-Brandeis partnership aims to help address the growing demand for expertise within organizations seeking to authentically collaborate with, and productively manage, open source resources.

Now, more than ever, OSI and Brandeis University understand that providing options that align with individuals’ lifestyle and learning style ensures a positive learning experience. The fully-online Open Source Technology Management program that was initially launched in January has been redesigned to empower professionals in the open source community to pursue a valuable and needs-specific professional development opportunity. In fact, there are no prerequisites for the program.

The first micro-course of the program begins on June 1, 2020. Students have the choice to select one of four learning options. Participation in the program provides the opportunity to obtain open source skills that will set open source professionals apart from their colleagues, collaborate with fellow open source community members, and have access to quality coursework that is endorsed by OSI.

Option 1
Take a single 4-week micro-course. The upcoming course that will be offered is Cultivate an Open Course Community. Other courses in the program include:

  • Integrate the Open Source Community (launches July 6, 2020)
  • Open Source Business Practices
  • Establish an Open Source Program Office
  • Open Source Workflow and Infrastructure
  • Production of Distributed Open Source Software

Option 2
Complete two micro-courses in a given topic area, and earn a digital badge in one of these three areas: The Business of Open Source, Open Source Community Development, or Open Source Development Fundamentals.

Option 3
Complete all six micro-courses, and receive a certificate in Open Source Technology Management.

Option 4
Complete a capstone assignment at the conclusion of two micro-courses, and earn 3 graduate-level credits.

True to open source software process and principles, the educational offerings coming out of the partnership are crowd-sourced and jointly developed by an advisory board comprised of university curriculum development experts and senior open source advocates from Amazon, Red Hat, Bloomberg, Twitter and other leading companies.

Sign up to receive more information about the program. Specific questions can be emailed to Kathryn Wight, Director of Partnership Engagement.

Complement Coding with Community

By Patrick Masson

It may be the best time ever for open source development and developers: both are in high demand.

Large and small businesses now rely on open source software across the enterprise. Advocates tout open source as a competitive advantage for startups, and a key driver of innovation for established companies. Open Source Programs Offices are now standard across industries. Beyond business/corporations, governments and non-profits are also leveraging open source to reduce costs, extend services, and support their missions.

With such tremendous growth, open source developers are in high demand, and organizations are now working hard to attract and keep open source coders. It’s now common to find Developer Advocates working within companies to recruit and retain open source talent.

For emerging or competitive businesses hoping to leverage open source to enhance and expand their products and services as quickly as possible, the focus is on technology skills, for developers, the focus is also on technology because it pays.

Skilling up job seekers with the desired technologies has become a bit of a cottage industry. Dozens of “coding boot-camps” offer courses that claim to prepare students in as little as nine weeks. More formal programs are also available, some even offering college credits. All of these programs will vary in their quality and commitment to students. I am sure many schools offer excellent services and support to help people develop the skills they need to land the jobs they want.

But “open source technologies” is not enough: not enough for the companies that hope to realize the benefits of open source software projects and not enough for students seeking career advancement through open source development.

In addition to technology skills, companies and developers need community skills, like:

Communication
Open source software development is all about collaboration, contribution, and co-creation. To share, understand, and resolve issues, to design and develop features, and to report and fix bugs, developers must be able to effectively communicate (both verbally and in writing). Communication means explaining issues and ideas to the wide variety of stakeholders who might be involved in a project. Communication means advocating–even arguing–for ideas and ideals. Maybe most importantly, communication means listening. Communication is just one of the non-technical skills a developer will need, and a company will want.

Networking
Open source developers do not work alone, and open source projects are not build alone. Both companies and developers will need to find peers, identify experts, promote participation, and foster collaboration to ensure projects enjoy the greatest levels of success. No developer has all the talent; no company has all the resources. Filling the gaps of a company, developer, and project requires building communities of practice to leverage the powerful potential of the network effect. There are many ways to develop and maintain a network of practice: attending or host events or a conference; join or moderate a social forum; participate in a user-group, etc. None of these activities require those technical skills a developer or company may typically desire in a coding boot-camp, but building relationships is vital for the success of both.

Business Process and Practices
Many new to open source have an idealized impression of both project management and governance. Self-motivated, self-organized, and self-directed communities find consensus through shared values of “many eyeballs,” rapid feedback, meritocracy, etc. Such practices are indeed essential to, and in, open source communities and differ tremendously from traditional development environments. But they do have specific meanings, developed over years of practice, with expectations (even standards) shared across communities. Understanding community norms, best practices, references, standards, and the vernacular of open source software, development, and communities is critical.

Open source technology skills are vital for those looking to work in open source software, and they are critical for companies’ hoping to compete in today’s technology-driven economy. However, non-technical skills are just as necessary and should be included in anyone’s educational efforts toward a career or advancement in open source software development. When assessing coding schools, learners should consider how they will learn about and engage with non-technology skills. When considering developers for open source positions, companies should review applicants’ experience with non-technology skills.

And after both developers and companies are working together, all must keep up their technical and non-technical skills to ensure they remain productive participants in the open source projects and communities they both value and rely on so much.

<<Learn more about Open Source Technology Management>>

Patrick Masson is the  general manager and board director of the Open Source Initiative.

Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies is committed to creating programs and courses that keep today’s professionals at the forefront of their industries. To learn more, visit www.brandeis.edu/gps.

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