Welcome to UCOSP!

UCOSP is a program that brings together students from across Canada to work together on open source projects. Students learn how open source software development takes place, practice distributed development, and have the opportunity to work on project with knowledgeable industry or faculty mentors on software with real users.

Aug 18, 2016 - Fall 2016 UCOSP Projects

The open source communities have no shortage of generous people! We have nine projects ready to go and 28 wonderful mentors to work with students. I’d like to welcome back returning mentors from Reviewboard, MarkUs, Umple, Mylyn, and Firefox Code Coverage. I’d especially like to welcome Greg Mierzwinski who is returning as a mentor for Firefox Code Coverage after working on it as a UCOSP student.

We have four new projects from Mozilla: Firefox 3D Z-index Tool, TaskCluster-Pulse, Pontoon, and FlyWeb. The projects all look very interesting, and I’d like to thank all the new mentors for joining us.

I encourage you to go read the project descriptions.

Aug 4, 2016 - Getting Ready for the Fall term

Planning is in full swing for the fall term. Students and faculty are definitely thinking about September. Looking at our registration form we already have about half the number of students we expect signed up and more are starting to roll in.

Our fall code sprint will be held at the Mozilla offices in downtown Toronto. Their community space is a great place to work, and Mike Hoye and his team are excellent hosts.

We are still finalizing the list of projects. We have more turnover this year than usual, but the potential new projects looks very interesting. Longtime projects MarkUs, ReviewBoard, and Umple will be back, and I’ll post descriptions of the new projects as soon as they are available.

May 30, 2016 - New Look and Year in Review

Year in Review

We had another great year with UCOSP, thanks to the generous sponsorship from Google and the support of the CACS/AIC.

Thirty-five students attended the September code sprint in Vancouver at the beautiful UBC campus. Our wonderful long term project mentors once again created a great experience for our students. We welcomed back ReviewBoard, Formulize, BB 10/Phonegap, MarkUs, and Umple.

We were thrilled to welcome back Dethe Elza with Waterbear, and Jim Parry with CodeIgniter. Both Dethe and Jim live in the Vancouver area which made it possible for them to supervise a project this term. We also welcomed another local, Sam Davis mentoring the Mylyn project.

Mozilla once again hosted the Toronto code sprint in January in their beautiful community space. Along with returning projects Reviewboard, MarkUs, Formulize and Umple, we were joined by two Mozilla-based projects: Jupyter Notebook and Code Coverage. Mark Reid and Joel Maher and their colleagues were naturals at mentoring students, and it was a real pleasure to work them.

After several years of working Tim Windsor on the Blackberry/Phonegap projects we were sad not to have him back in January. We hope that his love of open source software will bring him back on a different project in the future.

Reflections

It was a year of changes and time to reflect. Schools across North America have seen dramatic increases CS program enrolments. This was evident in the larger numbers of students applying to UCOSP. For example, at the Univeristy of Toronto we had 75 students apply for 8 UCOSP spots. There is clearly a demand for the kind of practical learning experience that UCOSP provides. While we plan to support a slightly larger number of students next year, we are limited by funding and organizational overhead costs.

On the otherhand we also had two schools decide not to send students this year, at least partly because they were not able to find faculty to supervise the students. Increasing enrolments at our universities means that faculty have less time for the “extras”.

Fortunately, we have not had difficulty finding interested open source projects. We saw a higher turnover in projects this year, but we have also had cold call inquiries about how a project might be included in the program. For the record, we are looking for some new projects for next year.

Another change is the makeup of the steering committee. Michelle is stepping down from the steering committee for a well-earned sabbatical. Karen Reid will be chairing the committee for the next year. Rob Walker from the University of Calgary is joining the steering committee. Meghan Allen, Ted Kirkpatrick, and Eleni Stroulia continue to serve on the committee.

New Look

We decided to move the web site over to github.io, partly to save a bit of money on web hosting, but mostly to make it easier to add posts and maintain the archive of information. You can still reach us at info@ucosp.ca