Free Software Contributions Made Easier and Quicker

Loic Dachary (Upstream University)
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Location: D136
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Becoming an OpenStack contributor is easy, people are welcoming, and it’s a rewarding experience. To the point that we forget that it’s worth training for it. Running is easy too. But if you want to go to the Olympics or get sponsored, you better learn and train for them.

Ceilometer was a deliberate contribution to OpenStack: Nick Barcet and I started careful planning for it in March 2012. One summit and twelve man-months of work later, it has become an OpenStack incubated project.

In November 2012 twelve computer science students at the Université du Litoral in the north of France contributed to OpenStack for the first time. For half of them it was their first exposure to the social dynamics of Free Software contributions. It took a few hours of their time, and you could feel, even through IRC, that it was a defining moment for their future professional life.

Nick Barcet’s happiness when Ceilometer became an incubated project under his leadership is very much like the sparkle that was in William Oprandi’s eyes when his documentation patch got merged into OpenStack.

Will William Oprandi need twenty years of experience to go from contributing a one-liner to driving a new component in OpenStack? Upstream University was funded by the Free Software Foundation France shortly after the April 2012 OpenStack summit to speed up the process, and enabled even a skilled contributor to level up.

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Loic Dachary

Upstream University

Loic Dachary has been involved with the Free Software Movement since 1987, when he started distributing GNU tapes to the general public in France. In 2012 he founded Upstream University, a non-profit with the goal of teaching developers how to contribute easily and efficiently. Dachary volunteers as a developer for April, a grassroots organization promoting Free Software. He maintains April’s OpenStack cluster and organizes contributions with agile methods. As President of FSF France, he also provides technical and legal resources to French Free Software developers. His day job is to use and contribute to ceph within OpenStack.

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