Tuesday, December 02, 2008


We're starting a series of technology clubs to help create a supportive environment
for people to develop their technical skills and connect with other people people in
the community in a meaningful way.

The basic idea is to find people with practical industry experience
willing to spend some time each month creating or identifying useful exercises
people interested in their field could do to develop their skills and posting them
on a blog or mailing list. Additionally they spend time each week facilitating a
discussion of the participants on a mailing list.

The intension is not to compete with existing online resources for technical
training and support, but to provide some more human support and mentorship
for people on the path. Mentors can and should encourage participants to
engage in the existing online communities surrounding their technologies.
Their guidance as to what communities to engage, and how to engage could
still be invaluable.

In this way, over time people can develop significant skills in fields where they
don't have formal training while they continue their studies or working full time.

We all crib about the quality of technical education, but with the Internet we
have the opportunity to do something about it. We can help eager young and
the motivated who want to get into high-tech but are over whelmed at
the amount of information available on the internet, or get blocked because
of elementary problems.

It shouldn't take much time, for mentors just a couple hours
a month to research the monthly activities and post links to learning resources
participants should look into, and then a couple hours each week responding
to questions and facilitating discussion on the mailing list. For participants,
activities should take 5 - 10 hours of effort each month, plus some additional
time sharing with the community thru the blog and the mailing lists.

If there's a field you are passionate about and feel more people should get into,
please think about setting up a small club for it on the techstart wiki. If you see
a club where people are exploring a technology you've been curious, by all means
join the community.

The initial clubs we have are in blogging, advanced java and open source technology.
Amit is also mentoring a group to write some automatic deployment scripts in php.

Find out more on the wiki - http://techstart.in

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