Sahana/IBM Training


This past week an H-FOSS team attended a week-long, IBM-supported Sahana training session at IBM offices in Washington D.C. The team consisted of H-FOSS Project Director, Trishan de Lanerolle and summer interns Antonio Alcorn (UConn ‘10), Ernel Wint (Conn College ‘09) and Vinit Agrawal (Trinity ‘10). I attended the Thursday and Friday sessions. Antonio and Ernel worked on our Volunteer Management (VM) module last summer.

The workshop was organized by Diane Melley and Rebecca Curzon of the IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs office and conducted by Chamindra da Silva and Ravith from Sahana. IBM brought in 10-12 members of its crisis management team from Milwaukee, San Francisco, San Diego, and other locations in the U.S. as well as a developer from the IBM office in Poughkeepsie.

The workshop was also attended by two graduate students from Oregon State University’s Open Source Education Lab. Both are students of OSU faculty Carlos Jensen (PI) and Timothy Budd (co-PI), who are recipients of a NSF CPATH grant entitled “Building a Platform for Learning – A Learner Centered Approach to Computer Science Education.” Both the OSEL and their CPATH project seem to have much in common with the HFOSS project. Eric Betts, one of the OSU students, has written a much more entertaining account of the training session on his blog.

The H-FOSS team gave presentations about the project and about the VM module. On Friday, the development team met to discuss an ongoing issue with the access control logic (ACL) functionality of Sahana and the VM module. For that session, Giovanni Capalbo (Trinity ‘08) who developed the VM’s ACL gave a presentation over a Skype connection. It was a real hi-tech get together!

Overall it was a very interesting and productive week, illustrating once again that building software is truly a team effort. Thanks to Rebecca and Diane for organizing the workshop and to the Sahana team for putting together the curriculum and to all the great people we met from IBM and OSU.

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