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OSD600/DPS909 Information

OSD600 Open Source Development (CPA Program) and DPS909 Topics in Open Source (BSD Program) courses enable you to dive into open source and work with developers from around the world on software which is used by millions of people every day. You don't need any open source experience to get started--just curiosity and the desire to work on something real.

If you're considering taking these courses, this page will provide the information you need as well as links to important resources.


This is a project-oriented course working directly with the Mozilla (Firefox/Thunderbird) and communities. Each of these communities maintains a huge codebase (millions of lines of code) which has been developed over a number of years and which is being actively improved by hundreds of contributors from many different companies/organizations and countries. This software is written in several languages, including C/C++, JavaScript, Java, and various scripting languages (bash, perl, and python). The software is cross-platform and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.

You'll select a project from a list of potential projects developed in consultation with Mozilla and -- practical, needed projects -- and work in direct communication with other developers. The potential projects list includes programming, localization, build system, automated testing, documentation, bug-fixing, and feature enhancement projects. Everyone works on something different (i.e., there are no fixed projects).

In OSD600/DPS909 you'll take your project from initial concept through 0.1, 0.2, and 0.3 releases. By the 0.3 release your project will be useful and usable state.

Results and Benefits of Taking OSD600/DPS909

These courses uniquely enable you to gain experience working on massive (multi-million-line) codebases, communicating and collaborating with other developers, and making changes that matter to huge numbers of people around the globe. Along the way you'll gain invaluable experience and make important connections to developers working around the world. Furthermore, Seneca open source students have gone on to internships and full-time employment with open source projects and companies.

Continuing Your Open Source Project

Upon successfully completing OSD600/DPS909, you'll have the option of continuing work on your project in OSD700/DPS911, where you will take it to a fully-polished 1.0 release level.

What students are saying about OSD600/DPS909

"DPS909 was by far the most valuable course I took while at Seneca College. Other courses taught me many things but DPS909 taught me what working on a *real* project with others was like. There are so many intangibles that simply can't be taught with a traditional lecture/lab/assignment format and this course will force you to learn them. In addition to helping me learn those things, it got me connected to a great community and helped line me up for a job after graduation. Thanks DPS909!" -- Ben Hearsum, CPA Graduate and Mozilla Corporation Employee - took DPS909
"This course is the whole package. You can get up to your elbows in real code, meet tons of developers, become part of an extremely friendly and helpful community and get grades for it! The Seneca-Mozilla link is a unique collaboration that gives us the chance to be at the head of the pack when it comes to open source development. You'll get out of it what you put into it." -- Lukas Blakk, 3rd year BSD student and Mozilla Corporation Intern - took DPS909 and DPS911
"While I do feel that the basic training I received at Seneca has been invaluable to my success, it wasn't until I was thrust into the world of open source development in OSD600 that I felt like I was actually programming. Thrust, I think, is the right term, because the truth is that the secluded and sheltered academic environment students operate in can never effectively mimic the real community effort that programming is. If you want to get a taste of the real world, open source development will deliver, along with the real world benefits of being a part of a vast community of developers and being a part of an ongoing project." -- Fima Kachinski, 3rd year CPA student - took OSD600 and OSD700


Taking OSD600 / DPS909

OSD600 and DPS909 will both be offered in September 2008 -- sign up via SIRIS during the summer.