Being able to contribute to an open-source project is a great experience for a CS student and looks good on his CV. With Facebook’s newly launched Open Academy, such students who contribute to the open source projects will get something more: college credit.
Open Academy essentially pairs such students who are interested and adequately skilled, with notable mentors. These students and mentors then come to Facebook’s Menlo Park offices for an ice-breaker weekend. After this, the students are able to virtually work on a number of open-source projects.
The mentors, on the other hand, guide these students and review their code. Although the pilot of the program was launched only at Stanford in 2012, Facebook has ‘expanded in 2013 to include MIT, University of Texas at Austin, Cornell Univeristy, University of Toronto, Waterloo University, University of Singapore, University of Tokyo, Imperial College of London, Jagiellonian University, University of Helsinki, and Tampere University of Technology.’
As part of this initiative, students will be working on a number of platforms including MongoDB, Ruby on Rails and Mozilla Open Badge. In return for their participation in the program, students will be able to score college credit at their respective institutions.
The program is sure to encourage CS students in the aforementioned universities to go for more practical coding rather than indulging in theories. This will also prepare them for the practical coding environments and help them build their careers with some of the best companies in the tech industry.