Let me share a few stories from some of the 71 undergraduate students who participated this year:
"[UCOSP] was the first time I realized how a team located in different areas can integrate and work together. The IRC channel is the place we have the most fun. I am very thankful to this project because I got an insight and have experienced how an open-source project operates."
From another undergraduate whose UCOSP experience led to her Google summer internship:
Another student comments on what he learned by reflecting through his learning experience:
"The most important things you learn during the project are about yourself: how disciplined you are, your time management skills and how to work independently. In particular, I've discovered that I need structure to be productive."
The project mentors have also commented positively on various aspects of the project.
For example, the Umple project mentor comments on the use of Google tools for managing his distributed team.
"It is a nice fit that Google is a key sponsor of UCOSP: Umple's development is hosted on Google Code, and we make extensive use of Google Groups and Google+, particularly the excellent ‘Hangouts with extras' multi-party video conferencing feature. Weekly Hangouts turned out to be almost as effective as in-person meetings with my local students at fostering a sense of community among UCOSP students from several campuses."
Finally, one of the home-faculty members whose student was on the ReviewBoard team, says:
"...[my student] had a fantastic experience with UCOSP. He doesn't understand why all of the students aren't beating down the doors trying to get into the course."
As a steering committee we are thrilled with the continued success of UCOSP and are happy to talk to anyone about it. We want to thank Google for their support and to publicly thank the dedicated open source project mentors who are training tomorrow's leaders.
For all of us who are involved with UCOSP, it is clear that this is a valuable program for our students and that our projects make useful, even valuable, contributions to the open-source projects that participate in it. We are excited to be planning our next year and we are thankful to the sponsorship of our supporting organizations.
By Karen Reid, Senior Lecturer University of Toronto, UCOSP Steering Committee Member