In summer 2022, a group of Red Hat volunteers organized the first in-office run of Red Hat Summer Camp Brno: an IT camp aimed at high school students, regardless of how much IT experience they had. The goal of the summer camp was to bring together people with different skills and experience levels to create diverse teams that could learn from each other.
During two weeks, 21 students attended presentations and workshops delivered by 16 volunteers from Red Hat, covering topics related to work culture at Red Hat and open source values. They talked about technical skills like coding in Ruby, user interface and user experience design, and Git, as well as soft skills relevant to working in an IT company, such as creativity, communication, and planning.
During the course, students were divided into seven teams to compete in a series of projects focused on leveraging learned skills:
- Project #1: Reshake Brno. This project focused on creativity and soft skills. Students had to think up and present a solution approach to an assigned problem (e.g., age discrimination, homelessness, or climate change) from the perspective of a predetermined demographic (e.g., doctors, government, or students). Each team had its own combination of the particular problem and demographic segment.
- Project #2: Fix code. Teams hunted for bugs and tried to fix them.
- Project #3: Application. Teams had to think up an application concept, prepare a project brief along with funding and financial return goals, prepare a presentable prototype, and, last but not least, present it to pseudo-investors who would judge whether they deserve the funding.
Student teams earned points from each project, and the team with the most points won the grand prize.
In addition to the core team of organizers—Yuliia Kliuchnykova, Juri Solovjov, Matus Makovy, and Vratislav Bendel—many groups across Red Hat supported and collaborated on the Summer Camp organization, including but not limited to Red Hat Research, Legal, Branding, Social Media, ISAAC, and IT, which is an excellent representation of Red Hat values and the unique culture of collaboration at Red Hat.
Brno Red HatResearch manager Matej Hrušovský said of the project:
It’s amazing to watch what a small group of exceptionally motivated people can build with just a little support— it’s a testament to the power of open source, that the best ideas can come from anywhere and that communities are built naturally around them. The event now has a bustling community of volunteers that make it what it is. I’m very excited to see how the event evolves in the coming years.
Red Hat Summer Camp was a great success with the target audience, documented by outstanding 98% overall student attendance and very positive feedback from them. Here are some of the comments from students:
Thank you for the opportunity, it was my most exciting summer in years.
Great people, experience, great everything. I hope to participate next year too.
Following this pilot run, we look forward to organizing the camp again next year and hope to deliver an even better experience to young aspiring talents!