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From Isabel Drost <isa...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Academic outrech activities for Hadoop
Date Fri, 18 Dec 2009 17:10:48 GMT
On Fri Ross Gardler <rgardler@apache.org> wrote:
> It was therefore agreed that there is a real need for the academic 
> sector to get to grips with Hadoop. Having large data sets and
> practical applications such as these would undoubtedly help the
> Hadoop project in terms of testing and validation. It's hoped that
> there would eventually be code contributions from the sector too.

At least here in Berlin (TU Berlin as well as HPI Potsdam) there is
interest in contributing back to the community (in this case the
Hadoop and the Mahout community). Currently it is mostly student
projects done during labs that people (lecturers as well as some
students) are interested in contributing. I told them about the ASF
mentoring program already.

I have been talking to several local people, there are two to
three problems usually encountered in the academic sector:

1) Doing open source work does not give you any credits for your
scientific carrier, so there is little incentive to contribute back or
to release your work under an open source license. I personally have no
great idea how this problem could be fixed except through finding
interested individuals, discussing the advantages of free software in
general and personal participation in open source projects in
particular.

2) People are not really familiar with how to contribute to projects.
So there is a need for mentoring, explaining and getting the word out.

3) Some people are not familiar with the transparent, public model of
communication in most open source projects, especially here at the ASF.
Again, fixing this problem probably needs quite a bit of explanation
and "getting used to".

Me personally, I made the experience, that it is comparably easy to
get students convinced. It does get a little harder with PhD. students
but is still possible. General lack of time when working on a PhD. adds
to the problems.

Isabel

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