Letter From Fedora Camp

Mon, 2015-11-30 09:46 -- carol

Winchester, MA  Fedora enthusiasts from around the US and Canada got together to teach, learn and get to know one another at the recent Fedora Camp held at “The Edge”, Duke University Libraries’ learning commons for research, technology, and collaboration. The open makerspace atmosphere provided an ideal environment for Fedora Camp’s 40 participants to share ideas and work together to better understand how to take advantage of the Fedora open source repository platform.

Durham itself was an ideal camp setting. Excellent public transportation and venues for casual gatherings coupled with the close proximity of the beautiful Sarah P. Duke Gardens offered campers opportunities to explore and enjoy the city.

Five instructors including Aaron Coburn, Amherst College, Esme Cowles, Princeton University Library, Mike Durbin, University of Virginia, David Wilcox, Fedora Product Manager of DuraSpace and Andrew Woods, Fedora Tech Lead of DuraSpace led camp sessions. A contingent of campers were developers interspersed with librarians and administrators. All were interested in gaining hands-on experience with Fedora. The curriculum led the group through in-depth technical “deep dive” sessions as well as question and answer discussions regarding features, migrations, data modeling, indexing for search and discovery, extending Fedora, and more.

The agenda included an overview of Fedora front ends including Hydra and Islandora. This prompted a discussion on shared services that could be provided and maintained at the Fedora level rather than duplicating efforts in Hydra and Islandora. This speaks to the growing interest in the topic of  interoperability within the broader Fedora community.

Attendee’s feedback was positive, but organizers will continue to iterate on this hybrid curriculum that includes content for developers and administrators alike. Future Fedora Camps may include separate tracks to provide more opportunities for technical deep dives and in-depth discussions. A separate developer-focused event is in the planning to for later in 2016.

Skilled community volunteer instructors who work with the established Fedora Camp curriculum and materials make it possible for Fedora Camps to be piloted in other parts of the world.

The next Fedora Camp will be held in April 2016 at Caltech. More information, including dates, registration information, and the curriculum will be published soon.