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OSU Open Source Lab

OSL 'Unconference' Approaches

by Kayla Harr on Tue, Apr 03 2012

The Oregon State University Open Source Lab will host Beaver BarCamp 9 Saturday, April 21, in the Kelley Engineering Center. The event is free and open to anyone, including OSU students of all majors and interests, faculty and community members.

Beaver BarCamp is an opportunity to learn about an assortment of projects, skills and interests through discussion in an open, participant-led format. Attendees are invited to devise and lead interactive sessions that others at the conference can join. In the past, BarCamp sessions have focused both on computer and software development and on completely non-technical subjects. Topics have included writing software applications, learning Spanish, screenplay writing, the computer science gender gap, improving Web security and biking, among others.

BarCamps are often described as “unconferences” that blend the informational element of a conference with an informal and participatory philosophy. Instead of lectures and presentations, BarCamp attendees can expect to learn and share their own knowledge through discussions and activities. BarCamp sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., but participants can attend any portion of the day to join upcoming sessions. Those who are interested in presenting a talk can propose their sessions at any time throughout the day, though arriving at the beginning of the event to add a session to the schedule is encouraged for maximum participation. Refreshments will be provided.

The OSL hosts Beaver BarCamp semiannually with events in the spring and fall to engage the OSU and Corvallis community in creative discussion and collaboration. The lab is home to more than 160 open source projects and facilitates more than 600,000 unique downloads each day. To support its efforts, the lab employs several qualified OSU students who gain professional experience managing open source projects, maintaining servers and providing support to the open source projects the OSL hosts. Many of those students will present sessions at Beaver BarCamp to share the knowledge and technical skills they've developed through their work at the OSL.

For more information on Beaver BarCamp, including directions to the Kelley Engineering Center, visit http://beaverbarcamp.org.