Operations Center

Last modified by Unknown User on 2018.03.19 at 09:25:28 PDT

Many of the activities currently undertaken by the OSI General Manager are, or have become operational (e.g. newsletter production, wiki administration, membership management). The OSI is interested in creating an operations center to house volunteers and interns collaborating with and working for the OSI. These positions will be non-paid. In order to provide physical collaboration space for interns and volunteers helping with OSI operations an office has been set up as part of the Schodack Unified School District's Innovation/Entrepreneur Hub.


The Schodack Unified School District's Innovation/Entrepreneur Hub is an effort sponsored by the Schodack Unified School District's Superintendent to bring businesses to the region as well as offset costs of physical space as the district realizes reduced enrollment. The students of the Maple Hill Middle School will be relocated to the district high school, freeing up space. The goal of the initiative is to make this space available to area start ups, who--if successful--can provide funding to the district.


Provides free resources:

  • Power
  • Heat/Air Conditioning
  • Wireless
  • Office space
  • Furniture

Aligns with OSI Mission

  • The Innovation Hub consists of start up companies who are looking to reduce business costs. The OSI can introduce open source options at the time these companies first begin thus creating potential life-long adopters/participants.
  • The school district is interested;
    • in assessing open source options for deployment to support academic and administrative needs,
    • providing professional development for faculty on open source tools, and
    • creating hands-on learning opportunities (internships) for high school students in technology.

Reference Model for Creating Chapters

Community Involvement

  • FLOSS Desktop Refurbishment and Distribution
    • Project provides district students access to a variety of project-based learning activities.
      • Hardware refurbishment: Students will rebuild and bring to operational condition local school districts' decommissioned computers.
      • Software Administration: Students will install and configure LUbuntu, add various desktop applications (LibreOffice, GIMP, etc.).
      • Mentorship: Students will develop a curriculum and teach a course on "desktop literacy" to their peers and other members of the community using the refurbished FLOSS computers. After completion of the course, the participants will be able to take the computer home.
      • Manging a Support Center: Students will create, manage and operate a "help desk" providing those who complete the course and using the refurbished computers a resource for ongoing support.
    • Project provides opportunities for various undergraduate and graduate internships.
      • Informatics students interested in education;
      • Informatics students interested in community development;
      • Information Systems students interested in technology development.

Participation among local colleges and universities

  • Volunteers and Interns
    Several local institutions of higher education have IT and/or CS departments as well as various computer/technology clubs and organizations. In addition, these schools also have students interested in open source communities, i.e. the culture/practices/ecosystems that enable the development of open source tools. The operations center offers a location for these interns to work


Discussions with interested parties and stake holders on defining and implementing the Center.

Introduction/Proposal Email

Date: Tue, 01 Apr 2014 10:47:32 -0400
From: Patrick Masson
To: Luis Ibanez@kitware, Gary Schwartz, Dima Kassab, Catherine Dumas, Will Schroeder, Wes Turner
Cc: Board of Directors Osi
Subject: [Board] OSI Internships w/UAlbany & RPI


(tl;dr - interested in your help to create an internship program to support the OSI and further open source software, development and communities.)

First, thank you for hosting such a wonderful event. I heard several folks comment on how well run the conference was run and real appreciation for the opportunity to meet like-minded folks. For me, after working for 10 years to promote open source and openness in the area, the event was bittersweet: great to meet so many folks doing great work, but I just wish we all met years ago!

Not wanting another day to go by, delaying the opportunities for open source, not only locally but across the community, I wanted to reach out to see if we might be able to formalize some of the discussions I had with each of you - specifically about establishing an "operations center" for the OSI here in the Capitol District? I think we all touched on the same realization: there seems to be a real open source community emerging here and, while it might simply be serendipity that I landed here, I and the OSI would be foolish not to take advantage of the smart and active community.

As I mentioned in my presentation, the OSI is undergoing a transformation from a board led, to a membership driven community with dedicated staff to both manage operations and fulfill the memberships' strategic priorities. Quite honestly as employee number one (meaning, I'm the first person hired by the OSI, not that I am the best employee), I need help. The OSI is blessed with a global network of committed advocates and activists, collaborating and contributing in many ways. However we do not have the organizational and operational maturity one might expect from such a well known, global and historic institution. Indeed, the OSI like many open source projects is pressured by its success. As we all are painfully aware, while free and open source has been around for decades, it is only now that we have achieved the level of awareness and adoption we all hoped for. And, with this success we're seeing greater demands for services and support to create a community of practice and peers. Quite simply we've reached a tipping point - our project, "open source" is enjoying tremendous adoption, and now we need to build the community that supports it.

This is where I believe an "operations center" would be extremely valuable, and I know the local open source community can help, not only furthering the OSI and thus the open source movement, but their own interests as well. Remember, the OSI does not manage projects, develop code or support software, the OSI supports the individuals and organizations that do. In that role we need to create a service-oriented community which new and long established projects can access to improve their own work while contributing to the body of knowledge around open source itself - after all isn't this is the open source way?

With your help I would like to create internship and volunteer opportunities for campus organizations and clubs, e.g. UAlbany ASIS&T and RPI's RCOS, and their members to work directly on creating and promoting the OSI's support services that open source communities need to form, grow and sustain their specific projects. Open source is no longer just for developers and we need contributors with interests in communications, business analysis, research, law/contracts, society/culture, etc. It appears to me, many of you actually fit just these roles, and today, these are the most important skills required to develop open source communities, not simply open source software.

I would love to discuss how regional business, like Kitware and Open Invention Network could contribute. The skills students and interns learn working to with open source and open source communities will be (are!) extremely valuable as more and more companies across the sector embrace collaboration and interact with the remote, distributed and decentralized communities that develop/support now mission critical technologies. Those entering technology fields must understand how openness works, and I would hope those companies already working with open source would see the value in developing the next generation of employees who will be partnering with projects.

I know this is a lot, but as I said, I want take advantage of our recent discussions and "strike while the iron is hot." I would be very interested in your feedback and ideas about how we might be able to partner to help further all our interests in open source software,
development methods and communities.

Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon,

Created by Patrick Masson on 2014.03.31 at 13:05:33 PDT

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