October 4, 2023

One of the Foundation’s goals for 2023-2024 is to increase the adoption and visibility of FreeBSD. This is a pretty broad and lofty goal, so we’ve broken this down into a few key markets/audiences we plan to target. One group we’ve identified is college students. Introducing FreeBSD to people early on in their education paths will help prepare them for jobs in systems programming, and provide marketable skills for many opportunities going forward. Plus, the Project benefits by having more people contributing to FreeBSD.

Here’s a short overview of the FreeBSD University program that we are developing, though it’s currently in the planning stages. However, we have a recent intern willing to work with us and introduce FreeBSD at his university this semester.

First, we will identify 2-3 universities to collaborate with to develop this pilot program. We have already identified two universities we’re working with to kick off the program while eyeing other possibilities.

Some of the goals of the project include:

  • Cultivating FreeBSD ambassadors within a few universities to promote awareness and adoption of FreeBSD
  • Incorporating FreeBSD into operating systems curricula to ensure students are aware of this viable option
  • Developing educational/training materials to help students learn how to use FreeBSD and transition into becoming developers and contributors.
  • Improving the onboarding process for people new to FreeBSD. This will include documentation for getting started, training videos for system administrators and developers, improving the desktop experience, and simplifying installation on bare-metal systems.
  • Creating avenues for students to engage with potential employers, to gain insight into the skills employers seek when recruiting college students.
  • Expanding the program’s availability to other universities

We’re excited to start working on this program and will keep you updated as we make progress. If you are interested in introducing FreeBSD at your university, please reach out to me at deb@freebsdfoundation.org and let me know how you’d like to be involved in this initial stage of the program.

-Deb Goodkin