The third quarter of RIT’s Open Source Development class made their project pitches last night. As each one was made, there I was poo-pooing all the ideas.
It’s not that the ideas weren’t good, on the contrary, some were shockingly well thought out and could be the start of some very great projects. It’s just that my critiques, while trying to be helpful seemed to be continually negative in nature.
Regardless of how I came across, I was trying to give direction and allow the students to think a little further into development process while there’s still time to work out who’s working with whom and on what.
So besides pointing out that snowball fights might not go over well with children living in tropical climates and war, fighting, and demons can be very inappropriate in some cultures, we also had some good conversations about where to focus their energy right now.
The first focus is Research. What’s already out there? Is there anything similar being done?
The second, which ties into the research is my new favorite phrase “Begin with the finishing touches.” Is there anything “close enough” to what you want to do? If two or more components were coded together, would that get you to your goal faster?
The vibe I got last night was that the kids might still be transitioning their thinking about what’s appropriate to copy and build upon. After all, one of the things that makes this class unique is the whole plagiarism aspect. While we can’t disregard licenses and copyright completely, there’s a whole slew of great code out there just waiting for someone to modify.
It will be interesting to see what the kids end up working on. I’ll keep you updated on the progress.