[svlug] a course on managing open source...

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Wed Jul 13 19:05:48 PDT 2005

Dear SVLUG members,
I will be teaching a course titled "Managing Open Source" at San 
Francisco State University. This course is being offered as a 
graduate/undergraduate cross-listed course by the Information Systems 
department in the College of Business. As the title suggests, the focus 
of the course will be business-oriented for most part. A proposed course 
outline is listed at the end of this e-mail.

I would really appreciate feedback from the community.

1) What would you like to see in a course like this?
2) What is the most critically needed area of education that an analyst 
or manager should get with respect to open source?
3) Would you expect a course like this to be a "Get the Facts" type or 
more along the lines of a "We report, you decide" ?
4) What kind of activities would be more suitable: Hands-on, exams, 
papers, presentations?
5) Do you expect such a course to fly in a business curriculum?

(I am posting this to several lug lists, so bear with me if you see many 
of these)


Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Asst. Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

Here is the proposed course outline:

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The student will be able to:
A. understand the similarities and differences between open and 
proprietary software;
B. evaluate licensing, copyright, intellectual property rights and 
business models related to open source software;
C. identify issues such as standards, interoperability, and source code 
management in managing a heterogeneous Information Systems environment;
D. describe the challenges in integrated management of open source and 
proprietary software in the Information Systems infrastructure;
E. use Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) 
approaches in the acquisition and use of open source software.

A. (1 week) Basics of Open Source: Philosophy, Methodology, Software.
B. (1 week) Licensing as a driver of diffusion and adoption.
C. (2 week) Open source business models.
D. (2 week) Source code management approaches.
E. (1 week) Comparison with other methods of software development.
F. (1 week) Methods of Support for Open Source Software.
G. (2 week) Managing proprietary and open source applications.
H. (1 week) Evaluating maturity of an open source project.
I. (1 week) Assessing viability using the ROI and TCO approach.

PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE: Knowledge of the basic components of an IS 

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