Unity Supports Saint Louis University’s Open Source Software Center

January 18, 2023

Unity Foundation has been a proud partner with Saint Louis University in helping establish SLU’s Open Source Software Center, which was made possible by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The center provides an incubation lab environment that introduces students to open source software and a culture of sharing that is inherently more equitable. Giving students an opportunity to understand this culture and operate within it is not only a unique opportunity for SLU computer science students, it can also extend out in ways that can uplift and benefit individuals, organizations, and communities.

Undergraduate computer science students enrolled in project-based courses engage with the Center as part of their course curriculum, working under the mentorship of graduate students to implement various designs and test software using industry standard practices.

The project Unity is supporting in the lab provides students real world experience building and supporting an open source library for building IoT (Internet of Things) applications using open source software. The experience is an immersive one including focus not only on software development but many other aspects of open source including community engagement, software governance, collaborating with a distributed team, and other skills which are crucial to successful open source projects and communities.

What’s happening at the Open Source Software Center at SLU can significantly impact a much needed shift - from a workforce development perspective - to normalizing open source software development and addressing a deficit in opportunities to learn, practice, and demonstrate those engineering capabilities. As students use and understand the value of open source software, they gain valuable knowledge and experience building IoT (Internet of Things) applications that they carry with them into their professional careers.

Unity Foundation, a St. Louis based 501(c)(3) organization, is committed to leveraging open source software tools to provide more equitable access to the information and services that support the needs of the greater St. Louis area community, with a focus on the underserved. With three open source foundations as official member organizations of the Unity team, they are able to provide the platform, tools, and advisory services that the Center needs to thrive and sustain its purpose.

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