The Next Wave - Getting Students Excited About Drupal

On December 17th, Nextide and Conestoga College are proud to jointly kick off the Conestoga Centre for Open Source (CCOS).
The Conestoga Centre for Open Source is a volunteer driven organization founded by Conestoga College and Nextide Inc. Together, Conestoga and Nextide want students to participate in meaningful Open Source projects to not only get exposure to new development concepts, but to also create a community of developers who understand the value of Open Source and how to work on projects which have a distributed base of users and core developers.
Since Nextide is a Drupal based development shop, and Drupal is one of the leading Open Source PHP based Content Management Systems (CMS), it is an obvious choice to have students get ramped up on Drupal, mentored by Nextide, in order to start meaningful development on new projects anchored in Drupal.
The goal of CCOS is to have a collection of students who are able to participate in projects for which they have attributed code to and have had their code peer reviewed.
As students enter CCOS, the existing student base in CCOS can bring new students up to speed on current projects and in turn provide mentorship to them. CCOS is about community, sharing, growing as a developer and as a member of a project.
Nextide has been in business since 2000, became 100% devoted to Open Source solutions in 2003 and since early 2009, Nextide has been solely focused on Drupal. As a company, Nextide has done and continues to do a variety of outreach programs with the Drupal community. We have been a sponsor of Drupal Camp Toronto for the last 3 years, attend the local Drupal meetups, and have helped bring Open Source to predominantly closed source institutions.
Getting the CCOS initiative off the ground is a major milestone for Conestoga. While the Engineering programs at the college do mention open source, the curriculum does not necessarily take advantage of open source or mandate its usage. Through CCOS and mentoring by Nextide, we hope that a new wave of Drupal expertise emerges from the college.