4 Mar 2004 pjcabrera   » (Apprentice)

SNAP Software Development Center

I would like to announce the founding of an open source research and development center at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.

One of the goals of the SNAP Software Development Center, is to improve the quality of software developers in Puerto Rico, by involving Puerto Rico IT, computer science, and computer engineering students in supporting and improving open source projects through internships in the SNAP Center, and through open source-based independent study projects at the students' universities. (I will post about the other goals in the weeks ahead.)

In the fall of 2003, myself and two colleagues from the Java Society aligned ourselves with the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, and took a proposal for funding the SNAP Center to the Industrial Development Corporation of the government of Puerto Rico. To make a long story short, we were approved! The contracts between the Interamerican University and the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Corp have been signed and everything is official. We just ordered the first of the equipment today, March 3, 2004. (I'll be writing about that once it arrives and we start installing stuff - all of it open source - on the servers!)

I am involved with the center as co-founder and software architect. I am involved in "educating" faculty and students at the Interamerican University about open source licensing issues, open source technologies, and lightweight methodologies such as eXtreme Programming. I will also be involved in direct student outreach. (We want all students, whether or not they are in IT or computer science or engineering, to know about and to be excited about open source.)

The project begins at the Interamerican University, but it is our hope that this open source R&D center sparks interest in similar projects at other Puerto Rico universities.

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