Before looking too far ahead to the future, it’s important to spend time to reflect over the past year’s events, identify successes and failures, and devise ways to improve. Describing my 2016 is a challenge for me to find the right words for. This post continues a habit I started last year with my 2015 Year in Review. One thing I discover nearly every day is that I’m always learning new things from various people and circumstances. Even though 2017 is already getting started, I want to reflect back on some of these experiences and opportunities of the past year.
AuthorJustin W. Flory
On Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, the [email protected] at the MAGIC Center at RIT held the annual Election Night Hackathon. Over 140 students from across campus and across departments gathered together to work on a range of civic projects as the election night results came in. This year’s hackathon was the sixth in a long-standing tradition of civic duty and open source collaboration.
Every year, Mojang holds the annual Minecraft convention, MINECON. MINECON is a convention where Minecraft players, software developers, content creators, and others in the Minecraft gaming world come together for a weekend of panels, activities, shows, and most importantly, comradery. I traveled to Anaheim, California to see the SpigotMC team again and help represent the open source cause. The convention was from September 24-25, 2016. This is my second time going to MINECON – last year, I went to London with the team as well.
More and more students are learning about the world of open source through video games. Games like FreeCiv let players build empires based on the history of human civilization while games like Minetest emulates Minecraft in an open source block-building sandbox. Students are encouraged to dig deeper into games like this, and projects like SpigotMC empower kids to write plugins to extend their favorite games. However, the tools in open source to build the actual games do not share the same prominence. Rochester Institute of Technology student Matt Guerrette hopes to help change that with his open source gaming engine, Hatchit.
The dancer gracefully glides across the stage, with a slow but determined gait radiant with purpose. The movement is not her own, but neither is it forced. The sound uncoils itself as a rope and instructs the dancer forward, synchronizing her movement with the delicate pressure of the pianist’s fingers. There is no consciousness, no concept of time. The moment is forever captured in the combination of auditory and visual perception. Without a single spoken word, an emotion is tearing at the seams of the casual observer.
Converting the sounds of music into words is a difficult task. It is more difficult task when the sounds of the music lack lyrics. It is possible, but a difficult task even for the most skilled linguist. Yet the embedded meaning, value, and transmission of emotion present in the music speaks a thousand words in the human heart. What makes this so difficult to describe? I am still searching for an answer to this question, but Explosions in the Sky makes it easier for me by providing All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, their fourth album. Originally released in 2007, the Texas-based band shares an irreplaceable part of human psyche and emotional strength through their six-track escapade. More solemn than my previous musical tribute, I take my own interpretation of this timeless album.
For many universities and colleges, there are many technical clubs that students can join. Some clubs focus on programming or using programming for collaborative projects. For anything involving code, clubs usually turn to GitHub. GitHub has become the standard for open source project hosting by thousands of projects in the world. GitHub organizations are the tool GitHub provides to allow someone to create a team of people for working on projects. Organizations can have many repositories and smaller teams inside of them. When getting started with GitHub, there is a method to the madness, and there are ways you can have an ordered organization instead of keeping it messy. Here’s how you do it.
When people first think of “open source”, their mind probably first goes to code. Something technical that requires an intermediate understanding of computers or programming languages. But open source is a broad concept that goes beyond only binary bits and bytes. Open source projects hold great regard for community participation. The community is a fundamental piece of a successful open source project. For my experience getting involved with open source, I began in the community and worked my way around from there. At the age of fifteen, I was beginning my open source journey and I didn’t even know it.
Over the past year, I’ve met incredible people from around the world doing great things in their local communities. At my university, the Women in Computing @ RIT program provides networking for students with faculty, staff, and alumni. They also help advance women in computing through community outreach. I’ve also come into contact with two other international tech communities with interesting stories of their own. With the help of the WiC events committee, we are working on organizing a virtual meetup with WiC from New York, Open Labs Albania, and FOSS Wave from India to introduce each other, share experiences, and more.
This post was originally published on the Fedora Community Blog.
HackMIT is the annual hackathon event organized by students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. HackMIT 2016 took place on September 17th and 18th, 2016. This year, the Fedora Project partnered with Red Hat as sponsors for the hackathon. Fedora Ambassadors Charles Profitt and Justin W. Flory attended to represent the project and help mentor top students from around the country in a weekend of learning and competitive hacking. Fedora engaged with a new audience of students from various universities across America and even the globe.
Earlier this month, I received the Rainbow badge in Fedora Badges. Rainbow is the fifth badge in a series for receiving “karma cookies” from others in IRC. Every time I receive a new badge in this series, I like to reflect back on the past and where my Fedora journey has taken me since October 2015.