POSSE 2009

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Back row, left to right: Chris Tyler, Paul Frields, Greg DeKoenigsberg, Cameron Seay, Ian Weller, Dave Humphrey, Kent Palmer. Front row, left to right: Fardad Soleimanloo, Christian Jacobsen, Matt Jadud, Mel Chua, Frank Hecker.


POSSE 2009 was a weeklong bootcamp designed to immerse professors in open source projects, with the commitment that each participating professor bring their classes into open source project participation over the next school year. It was the first run of the Professors' Open Source Summer Experience; more details on the program are available at http://teachingopensource.org/index.php/POSSE



Check out our press coverage!


Read participants' blog posts from POSSE week.

Follow POSSE 2009

There are a number of spaces where POSSE was held aside from the physical Raleigh, NC location.

  • Wiki: POSSE is using the TeachingOpenSource wiki space. Please feel free to edit any of these pages. If you're creating new pages, please prefix the page title with "POSSE 2009".
  • IRC: The channel on Freenode will be used for POSSE-specific IRC communication. Participants are encouraged to join the larger TeachingOpenSource community in the #teachingopensource as well.
  • Mailing list: There is a POSSE 2009 mailing list for participants and organizers.
  • Twitter: follow @posse2009 for play-by-play updates.
  • Flickr: check out the pictures in the POSSE2009 flickr group.

Event information

POSSE 2009 was sponsored by Red Hat. Red Hat covered housing, living, and participation/supplies costs for the event in addition to publicity and logistics. The only cost to participants was travel to and from the site.


Participants arrived on Sunday, July 19th, 2009 for a reception and opening keynote, and left on Friday, July 24th, 2009, happy and exhausted after many, many hours of hacking, thinking, arguing, learning, and teaching.


POSSE was held at Red Hat headquarters in Raleigh NC (1801 Varsity Drive) in the Picasso/Rembrandt room.


Below are the members of the inaugural Summer 2009 POSSE. The participants page has information on travel, housing, food, and other logistics.


  • Cameron Seay, NC Central
  • Kent Palmer, Wingate
  • Matt Jadud, Allegheny
  • Christian Jacobsen, Transterpreter project
  • Fardad Soleimanloo, Seneca



We also had a number of guests from the open-source community dropping by throughout the week.

  • Michael Tiemann (Red Hat)
  • Paul Jones (UNC/iBiblio) - Monday morning
  • Tom Miller (NCSU CS) - Monday morning
  • Paul W. Frields (Fedora) - Thursday and Friday
  • Bill Nottingham (Fedora) - Thursday BBQ
  • Michael DeHaan (Fedora) - Thursday BBQ
  • Will Cohen (Fedora) - Thursday BBQ

Topic Schedule

Theme: Open Source Development and Teaching
Day: Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Morning A (~8:30-break) Overview from 20000 feet - What Open Source is about; intro to the Fedora and Mozilla projects; our teaching model; learning plan for the week Getting and building source - Obtaining source, build environment and tools, build systems, building Using Bugzilla - Intro to Bugzilla, what is a bug?, bugzilla basics, writing a good bug/comment, review, bugmail

Submit Fedora packages for review.

(Developing in Community Continued)

Debugging and testing - Debugging tools and techniques overview/ demo, debug and release builds, source servers, debuggers, stack traces

Teaching Open Source - What we've learned, examination of the teaching techniques used through the week, and a look at the particular challenges of teaching within the community (e.g., grading, etc).

Wrap-up Session - What does your course look like? (presentations), spreading the flame, staying in touch, feedback.

Morning B (break-12:00) Community & Communication - How communication provides the 'Open'; F2F, synch and async communication; communication tools; synthetic third culture. Developing in Community - Navigating/ searching, changing, testing, creating patches Open Source Collaborative Development - Solving problems in a team.
Afternoon (1 - ~3 (will vary)) IRC lab - Working with colleagues exclusively online RPM Packaging Basics - What they are, how to use them, and how to create them UI Bug - Altering/enhancing the user interface in Firefox, creating a patch, having it reviewed Student Project Case Studies
Evening Welcome - Welcome, Introductions/Icebreakers, Open Source overview, Plans for the Week

Notebook setup

Overnight deliverable: Get online (Create accounts (FAS, Wiki, Blog, Planet, IRC); create a personal wiki page; try at least 3 IRC clients, pick one, blog about it, check that blog is on Planet POSSE) Overnight deliverable: Create a package for Fedora. We'll get them into the review process on Wednesday. Overnight deliverable: Push packages through review, review the UI lab patches. BBQ Dinner with Open Source community members.


Anyone is welcome to help organize and plan POSSE APAC. Please see POSSE 2009 Planning for details.