Those of you that are members of the LJC and have been with us for more than 6 months may remember that in November we had a large mailing list chat titled “passion, passion, passion” about inspiring passion for development, specifically within undergraduates. I thought I would give you a follow up on how this idea has progressed….

(As a reminder, here is a quote from the initial email):

[i]“I want to find ways to ignite passion into more graduates. From research I have conducted – people have said they feel that many grads don’t finish their degrees with a true passion for development and I’m interested to find ways to address this.”[/i]

We received a lot of suggestions from the email which gave me food for thought. A few weeks later we had our first London Java Unconference, during which I held a small discussion group to cover the subject of passion within undergraduates and we discussed several of the points raised from the email. A few people within the group stood out as sharing my enthusiasm for creating sparks of passion within graduates. Open Source Software was one of the recurring themes from both the emails and the discussion so we started to think about how we could get undergraduates more involved. After much discussion a small group of us decided to organize a full day event to give undergraduates an introduction to Open Source Software by getting them to work on real projects with actual committers. 

After months of planning, last Saturday we held the ‘Graduate Open Source Jumpstart London 2010’ and the results and following feedback have been extraordinary.

We had 9 projects in total, with 35 graduates attending from across the country as far as Edinburgh. If you are interested to read more about the event then please read the following post written by one of the undergraduates that attended the event: http://graduatedevelopmentcommunity.wordpress.com/2010/04/25/opensource-jumpstart-2010-event/

We are exceptionally grateful to all the mentors that came along (many of them members of the LJC) and everyone that helped out on the day. A special mention must also go to Zoe Slattery, Ben Evans, Martijn Verburg & Mark Hindness who worked tirelessly to make this event a possibility.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in the graduate development community either as an OSS project committer, a mentor or in any other capacity then let me know. We are also constantly looking for new ideas so if there’s something you think of then get in touch.

Barry Cranford