Moving on from Launchpad
I’ve been working at Canonical for nearly two years now, in a role that I think of as a support role for all the awesome Debian, Ubuntu and application developers out there who use Launchpad to publish their software in Ubuntu. Most of my time has been spent making it easier to get software to users of Ubuntu (technically, working on Launchpad’s archive features such as Personal Package Archives), but I’ve also enjoyed improving processes for designing new features collaboratively in an open environment.
It’s been a great two years and I’ve learned an incredible amount while working with the Launchpad community. And although I’m not leaving the community, I will be spending the majority of my time developing tools on a different team in Canonical. I’m excited to be spending more time doing Django development, and am hoping that the skills I’ll be building there will give me opportunities to work on a bunch of open-source education-related tools in my own time to support life-based open-learning – something I’m quite passionate about…
The work that we all do in the open-source world impacts thought and philosophy far beyond the circles we work in. Principles from open source software have already been changing the way people think about copyright in education (the free high-school science texts project is an incredible example of that), but I believe they will also change the way we facilitate the learning of the next generations (from my edu-focus blog). Educators in schools and universities are already adapting to new mediums and principles but – in the same way that early film commercials re-implemented the stage on film – educators are often just re-implementing the classrooms of the past online (with “Learning management systems” that deliver content and keep the teacher/institution managing the learning). Schools and other education institutions need either a revolution or speedy evolution, and I’m excited to be a part of that both indirectly through my work and in my own time.