Career Planning

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Title Career Planning
Overview An in-class exercise for students to think about the role of open source projects in their career planning.
Prerequisite Knowledge Sophomore standing and a declared major or minor in computer science.
Learning Objectives Students will think about where they are in their learning and project where they can be by graduation.


Many students do not stop to think about how they will get a job after graduation. They simply expect that having a degree in computer science will result in job offers. The goal of this exercise is to get students thinking about their future and the types of activities they can do as an undergraduate to make their resume and job application stand out.


  1. (10 minutes) As a “Think, Pair, Share” exercise (see
    • Describe the ideal candidate for an entry-level programming position.
    • What would the resume of such a candidate look like?
  2. (10 minutes) Questions for class discussion:
    • What technologies would you list on your resume? What information do you intend to convey with this list? What can an employer conclude from such a list?
    • If thousands of students graduate each year with a degree in computer science, how can an employer differentiate between applicants?
    • Is it the responsibility of the school to prepare you for your career? What is your responsibility?
  3. (5 minutes) Mini-lecture on open source projects
    • What it means to be open
    • Common technologies used (version control, etc.)
    • Online presence
  4. (10 minutes) Class discussion:
    • How can participation in an open source project help differentiate you in a job candidate pool?
      • Real-world experience with the software development process
      • Experience using common tools
      • Experience with a large code base
      • Record of contrubutions




How will the activity be graded?

How will learning will be measured?

Include sample assessment questions/rubrics.

Criteria Level 1 (fail) Level 2 (pass) Level 3 (good) Level 4 (exceptional)
The purpose of the project
Why the project is open source


What should the instructor know before using this activity?

What are some likely difficulties that an instructor may encounter using this activity?

Additional Information:

ACM Knowledge Area/Knowledge Unit What ACM Computing Curricula 2013 knowledge area and units does this activity cover? ACM_Body_of_Knowledge
ACM Topic What specific topics are addressed? The Computing Curriucula 2013 provides a list of topics -
Level of Difficulty Is this activity easy, medium or challenging?
Estimated Time to Completion 30 Minutes
Materials/Environment paper and pencil
Author Who wrote this activity?
Source Ben Coleman
License CC BY-SA FIXME check that this license is appropriate

Suggestions for Open Source Community:

Suggestions for an open source community member who is working in conjunction with the instructor.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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