The Open University Project
The Open University Project is a network that aims to educate and certify beginner coders to help them get started with and contribute to free and open-source software with the help of volunteer contributors who are shaping the community.
We want to enable those who want to build software but don’t know how to do it as they don’t have a mentor/person influencing and helping them choose the right path in the course of building free and open-source software.
To be able to achieve our goals, we believe our platform should benefit everything and everyone on it. Beginner coders will have the chance to learn from experienced people, which will help them grasp the fundamentals faster. Volunteer developers will have more people contributing to their projects. The community will have more freedom since free and open-source software will advance at a faster pace.
It is important to us that our platform has a diverse crowd from any part of the world, and we know achieving it needs us to maintain contributors from all communities, which should help beginner coders stay on the platform.
How Will It Work?
The beginners will start with learning contribution basics (e.g., how to use Git VCS, what is Merge Request). After that, they will begin working on FOSS projects with the help of their educators. The issues they will resolve will be the ones they can handle. We are also considering working with maintainers to help them tag issue reports in a way that they will reflect the difficulty level so that the coders will know if they can work on them.
After completing all the requests from their educators successfully, the beginner coders will earn a completion certificate that will be different across technology and difficulty. For instance, beginners will earn The Beginner Certificate for a given technology. However, this will not mean a certificate is superior to another. Even The Beginner Certificate exhibits not only the beginners can code, but also they are capable of following conventions when they contribute to a project.
Educators on the platform will be volunteer developers and maintainers, and their help is vital to the project’s success. So to have and keep them, we want to make the education process a fun experience and beneficial to them. As for benefits, they will be able to share their projects on the platform to have it worked on by the beginner coders. Also, they will earn badges as they teach more coders.
We want to have coders from a variety of communities, and we hope that if we can maintain developers from the latter, people who idolize and follow them will be on the platform and will want to do more for the FOSS community.
Beginner coders will also get the chance to be an educator on the platform. We will ask them to teach another person what they have learned after finishing a program.
We want our certificates and badges to be impactful and have a meaning. If the community can adopt what The Open University Project does to help coders/developers; when the certification program succeeds in a way that companies use it to hire developers to work on their projects, we will call it a success and thus an impact.
We will post more updates as we progress.