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Planning for the Semester

August 2, 2011

The approach of the fall semester has been floating around in my brain and becoming a louder cry in the chorus of ever-more-urgent voices that need attention. Members of my CS 490/CPE 425 Software Engineering class, heads up. You will be contributing to a humanitarian FOSS project, the question is which one and what exactly we’ll be doing. This is what last year’s course looked like and we worked on the Caribou onscreen keyboard.

I know the general outlines of the course which include providing an overview of the discipline of software engineering and covering the standard approaches for requirements, design, implementation, test and maintenance. But the fun is in the details! I’ve got some funding to bring in speakers and take field trips and I think we’re going to do some very fun things. One idea is to attend the GNOME Summit at MIT which appears to be planned for October.

I also have some thoughts on people who would be fun to have come talk to us. One is Mo Duffy who is a senior interaction designer with Red Hat. Another is Joannie Diggs who is a long-time developer for GNOME A11y and maintainer for Orca. I also have a Flip camera, compliments of the POSSE Basics course and Red Hat, and I can imagine having all sorts of fun with that!

The other activity that we’ll do at least once during the semester is to bring the word of FOSS coolness to Nancy Dugre’s class at Minnechaug Regional High School. Nancy always puts in 200% effort, going well beyond the call of duty to incite excitement in computing in her students. She spends lots of her own time overseeing teams for programming contests, mentoring clubs, and organizing cool field trips to places like Google. We have visited her students in the past and both the Western New England University and the Minnechaug High School students report that they love the interactions.

Lots and lots of interesting opportunities. Now to weave them into a class….

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