HOWTO plan a POSSE

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This page is a draft. It is not yet complete, but feel free to use it as a resource or add to it if you can think of a way to improve it.

Introduction[edit]

What is a POSSE?[edit]

For more information on what the Professors' Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) is, see the main POSSE program page.

Who this guide is for[edit]

How to use this guide[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Event approval deadlines[edit]

POSSE start date Approval needed by Funding quarter
Before May 15, 2010 ASAP - ask Mchua for case-by-case discussion March 1, 2010
May 15, 2010 - June 1, 2010 Feb 15, 2010 March 1, 2010
June 2, 2010 - Sep 1, 2010 March 1, 2010 June 1, 2010
Sep 2, 2010 - Dec 1, 2010 June 1, 2010 Sep 1, 2010
Dec 2, 2010 - March 1, 2010 Sep 1, 2010 Dec 1, 2010
After Dec 2, 2010 Deadline not set yet, but no earlier than Dec 1, 2010 TBA

Planning timeline[edit]

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This section is not complete. If you're at this point and get stuck, ask the Teaching Open Source list what you should do next, and we'll step in and figure out and write the next steps of this guide together.
  • 3 months before: fill roles, determine date/location
  • 2 months before: open registration
  • 2 weeks before: Registration cutoff
  • 1 week before: IRC class meeting

Being approved as a POSSE event[edit]

The short version[edit]

  • Point person: A single point of contact who is ultimately responsible for the logistics of the workshop; having a team to help is highly encouraged.
  • Date: Pretty self-explanatory. Needs to be 5 consecutive full days.
  • Location : Pretty self-explanatory. Requirements are listed at http://teachingopensource.org/index.php/HOWTO_plan_a_POSSE#Find_space (basically, "chairs, tables, wifi with ssh and IRC ports open, and the ability to leave things in the room overnight.")
  • Focus: What will your POSSE focus on, be it regional, disciplinary, institutional, or some other goal? (code, QA, documentation, design, liberal arts institutions, Spanish-speaking contributors, etc?)
  • Project: Which open source community will you be working with? This must be a community at least one instructor has experience in, and the community the tech guru comes from.
  • Instructors: At least 2 instructors and 1 tech guru; at least 1 instructor must have prior POSSE experience (attending or instructing). See http://teachingopensource.org/index.php/POSSE_Instructors for more details.
  • Sponsorship: How will expenses for this POSSE be covered? At a minimum, instructor and tech-guru travel/expenses (and possibly a stipend) will be needed, as well as graduation dinner for all POSSE attendees and a handful (3-10) of local FOSS contributors on the 4th night.
  • Attendees: We need a minimum of 5 attendees to run a POSSE.

Check deadlines[edit]

Create a proposal page[edit]

Announce your interest to the TOS list[edit]

Find instructors[edit]

See the POSSE Instructors roster for available instructors and instructor requirements to host a POSSE. You are responsible for figuring out how to cover expenses (and possibly a stipend) for instructors, whether that is through applying for Red Hat funding or requesting funding from a third party.

Find space[edit]

Space requirements are actually quite modest. Many college/university classrooms fit these requirements, and can be reserved by faculty at low/no cost. The host location also does not need to be a school; we have run POSSEs from meeting rooms in corporate sponsor offices in the past.

  • Able to leave equipment overnight during the week
  • Reasonably fast wifi with ports 80 (web), 23 (ssh), and 6667 (IRC ) open
  • Sufficient tables and chairs for all attendees and a few guests; 30 should be more than enough. Preferable are the kinds of tables and chairs that can be moved around for groupwork, meaning lecture halls and computer labs are not ideal.
  • A projector (2 is even better)
  • Whiteboards or blackboards
  • (optional, but helpful) OK to bring in food and drinks

Find funding[edit]

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This section is not complete. If you're at this point and get stuck, ask the Teaching Open Source list what you should do next, and we'll step in and figure out and write the next steps of this guide together.

The general idea is that POSSEs (right now) are a partnership between Red Hat and another party, which we'll call the POSSE Partner. This can be a university, an open source project, another company, etc, but it's probably a university.

  1. Red Hat handles curriculum: we figure out instructors and pay for all instructor-related expenses (travel, lodging, stipends).
  2. Red Hat handles swag and the grand end-of-week dinner with local open source community members.
  3. POSSE Partner handles hosting logistics: a location with wifi and some machines/VMs to play with for the week, and the mixer the night before POSSE week starts (which should include some light refreshments - soda, cheese, and crackers are great).
  4. POSSE Partner and Red Hat will do joint marketing of the event - the two groups are likely to be able to reach different audiences.
  5. Attendees handle travel/housing/food themselves (though the idea is that POSSEs will be local, so this should be a non-issue). Red Hat and POSSE Partner will be able to help out with some local logistics, and depending on surplus budget, might also be able to help subsidize some of these costs, but don't count on it.

Further steps[edit]

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These steps have not yet been written. If you're at this point and get stuck, ask the Teaching Open Source list what you should do next, and we'll step in and figure out and write the next steps of this guide together.

Planning the POSSE[edit]

Open registration[edit]

Outreach to local schools[edit]

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This section is not complete. If you're at this point and get stuck, ask the Teaching Open Source list what you should do next, and we'll step in and figure out and write the next steps of this guide together.

Setting expectations with the students in advance is important. Following the thinking in the Pioneer analogy, students need to understand that the current state of FLOSS is more like a frontier town turning slowly in to a city. Other thoughts on this are gathered in Preparing students for their POSSE.

Further steps[edit]

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These steps have not yet been written. If you're at this point and get stuck, ask the Teaching Open Source list what you should do next, and we'll step in and figure out and write the next steps of this guide together.

Running the POSSE[edit]

Further steps[edit]

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These steps have not yet been written. If you're at this point and get stuck, ask the Teaching Open Source list what you should do next, and we'll step in and figure out and write the next steps of this guide together.

POSSE follow-up[edit]

Further steps[edit]

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These steps have not yet been written. If you're at this point and get stuck, ask the Teaching Open Source list what you should do next, and we'll step in and figure out and write the next steps of this guide together.

Templates[edit]

POSSE event page[edit]

A template for an individual POSSE event page is at Template:POSSE event page, along with usage instructions.

POSSE announcement email[edit]

Would you like to teach your students to be participants and contributors to open source projects? POSSE (Professors' Open Source Summer Experience) is a week-long bootcamp, sponsored by Red Hat, that immerses professors in open source projects so that they in turn can bring their students into the community. Participants spend a week of intensive participation in selected open source projects, led by professors with experience in teaching open source development, in partnership with community members who have deep experience and insight. By the end of the session, participants should have a much better understanding of the workings of open source projects, and a strong network of contacts to lean on as they begin to bring students into the open source world.

More information about the program is available at http://teachingopensource.org/index.php/POSSE. Applications are now open - see http://teachingopensource.org/index.php/POSSE#Apply_to_an_upcoming_POSSE for details.

Our current summer locations and dates:

  • June 7-11: Worcester State (Worcester, MA)
  • June 14-18: RIT (Rochester, NY)
  • July 5-9: CMU Silicon Valley (Mountain View, CA)
  • Late July (likely July 26-30): CMU (Pittsburgh, PA)

POSSE itself is free; attendees pay their own travel, lodging, and expenses.

If you're interested, check out the program page and send in an application - or if you have questions, join the Teaching Open Source mailing list (http://teachingopensource.org/mailman/listinfo/tos) and ask, or email posse@teachingopensource.org for more information.

We hope to see you this summer!

POSSE acceptance letter[edit]

Dear NAME,

Congratulations! You have been accepted to this year's Professors' Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) program. We would like to thank you for your thoughtful application and notify you about the session you have been accepted for. This email also contains more detailed information, together with a timeline for the upcoming months towards your POSSE -- please do not hesitate to ask any questions you might have.

We are looking forward to meeting you during the following session:

link to POSSE session

Please let us know about any questions you might have about your attendance or schedule.

What are the next steps?

1. Confirm your attendance by replying to this email (a simple "yes, I will attend" will suffice). When you do so, you will be added to a mailing list for your specific POSSE class. This list is low-traffic and is currently used only for (optional) coordination of transit/lodging with other attendees. It is the same mailing list that will be used to send setup instructions and pre-reading materials 6 weeks before the workshop, as well as for communications during the week of the workshop itself. There is no requirement to participate on the list at this time.

2. Make your travel arrangements. You are responsible for your own travel and accommodation during POSSE. If you are applying for travel funding from your department and need a letter of support, let us know who it should be addressed to, and we will email you a PDF for printing. Local attendees have made transit and hotel recommendations on the attendees page for your POSSE; it is a wiki page, so feel free to edit and add suggestions if you have recommendations.

link to POSSE session attendees page

3. Six weeks before your POSSE starts, we will send you message on the mailing list for preparation, containing instructions on how to set up the accounts you'll need in the community you'll be participating in during POSSE week, as well as a number of links to the final curriculum, exercises, and readings for the week. You do not need to complete any of these ahead of time. Instead, we ask you to skim the (approximately 30-page) pre-reading packet that will also be provided in the email. We will also be requesting people to introduce themselves to the rest of the mailing list at that time; copy-pasting your application responses to the list is a common way to do this. In total, preparation time for POSSE should not take you more than 6 hours over the 6 weeks prior to the workshop.

4. Attend POSSE!

We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Name of organizer

PS: For a glimpse behind the scenes of POSSE planning, and to overhear (and participate in) conversations with professors (POSSE alumni and others) who are already teaching open source, the Teaching Open Source (TOS) mailing list is a great resource (http://teachingopensource.org/mailman/listinfo/tos) if you'd like to introduce yourself or ask questions early (purely optional). You will be introduced to the TOS community during your POSSE week.

POSSE attendance confirmation reminder[edit]

Hello! You're getting this email because you've been accepted to a POSSE session this summer but have not yet (according to our records) confirmed your attendance. If you can confirm your attendance by replying to this email with a "yes, I'm coming," it will help us get a more accurate count on how many seats are still available. Please let me know if you have any questions - we hope to see you at POSSE this summer!

Name of organizer

The original email text is below.

Paste the appropriate #POSSE acceptance letter text here.

POSSE confirmation letter[edit]

Welcome to the mailing list for POSSE NAME. This list is for participants in your individual POSSE session; archives are publicly viewable, but only attendees of your POSSE are able to post.

This list will be low-traffic until your session begins. There is no requirement to participate on the list at this time. However, you may want to use it to coordinate transit/lodging with other attendees - for instance, if you're looking for a roommate or a carpool, this is a good place to ask. The instructors, coordinators, staff, and local community members are also on this list, so please feel free to ask any questions you might have on the program in general.

Welcome again, and we look forward to seeing you this summer!

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