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Teaching Open Source at Morris

by Shauna January 12th, 2014

Students and mentors at UMN Morris.

On Saturday, September 28th we ran our fifteenth Open Source Comes to Campus event, at the University of Minnesota at Morris. Thanks to the Computer Science Discipline for hosting! Check out the gallery of the best photos from the event (and the other ones).


Elena Machkasova, Nic McPhee, Kristin Lamberty, Jim Hall, Alex Jarvis, Dan Flies, Matt Hardy, Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Asheesh Laroia

Selected Contributions


  • We had a truly exceptional team of mentors for this event: the entire tenured Computer Science faculty at Morris (Elena, KK, and Nic); open source veteran Jim Hall; and a great group of alumni who were in Morris for homecoming weekend (Alex, Dan and Matt). Everyone knew someone else in the room – some people knew everyone else in the room! – and this level of ease and friendliness made for a great day. There was a lot of fun IRC chatter, the career panel was lively and ran long, and students seemed very comfortable asking for help.
  • The above experience left us wondering: how can we promote this kind of atmosphere at events hosted in communities that are not quite as close knit? Ice-breaker and social activities may be just as important to success as any of our technical training.
  • There was a small group of more experienced students who were already familiar with git, and were consequently pretty bored with the Practicing Git activity. This experience inspired us to expand the git lesson to include more advanced topics such as branching, merging, and multiple remotes. It also reinforced the importance of finding out about attendees’ experience levels ahead of time.
  • Speaking of the Practicing Git activity, one of the groups produced the best website to date. For certain definitions of “best”.
  • CS faculty member and host organizer Elena Machkasova introduced many of us to the concept of code poems with her poem written in Clojure.
  • At the event, student Andrew Latterner announced the start of an Open Source Development Club. We wish Andrew good luck and great success!

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