Red Hat Inc. is forging open source inroads in education these days.
For starters, the Raleigh, N.C.-based company teamed up with Intel Corp. to help equip the new New York City Open Source Solutions Lab on the City University of New York (CUNY) campus. With software donated by Red Hat and hardware by Intel, the new center will help the city and public agencies develop and test open source applications for municipal and state use.
In addition to government use, however, the lab also will be used to train students in working with open source software.
Ted Brown, executive director of the CUNY Institute for Software Design and Development, said that students need to learn how to work with open source software because open source is a large and growing trend.
Closer to Red Hat’s home base, Red Hat engineer Will Cohen is teaching a graduate course in free and open source (FOSS) software at North Carolina State University. Introduced last spring, the FOSS course enables students to join in ongoing projects of their choice and learn skills such as fixing bugs, testing software and adding new features as well as strengthening their project management and collaboration skills.
Promoting these higher education efforts is the Fedora Project Team, which conducted a three-week tour last spring, visiting 15 of the nation’s top universities to encourage use and instruction in open source software.
Jack Aboutboul, one of the tour participants, told Red Hat News that the faculty and students were very responsive to Fedora’s message about open source software.
“When you have the chance to fundamentally re-architect modern computer science education in the U.S. you take it,” he said. “The time is right to begin incorporating open source into both the campus environment and the curriculum.”