Software Freedom Day: Connect With New Clientele and Your Community

Software Freedom Day: Connect with new clientele and your community

Software Freedom Day (SFD) is a global initiative that takes place on September 16th, with over 300 events in 100 cities worldwide. It is a key opportunity for organizations to establish their community presence, extend their reach to new potential clients or students, and make important professional connections with members of open source and IT networks.

SFD aims to increase public knowledge and empowerment through free software. Events can encompass topics relevant to businesses, schools, governments, or the general public, with Linux and FOSS newcomer-friendly content that seeks to answer questions and introduce the uses and concepts of free software.

Signing up to host a SFD event can positively position your organization as one that supports its local community members, as well as the barrier-shattering principles of free software that encourage access to IT skills, knowledge, careers and innovation. This can help extend your reach and exposure through providing fun and educational content at a local event.

SFD events can take many forms, depending on the resources available to your organization. Location opportunities could include partnering with a local school, library, IT event, marketplace, Linux Users Group (LUG), hosting a family-friendly BBQ, or renting a conference room. A complete walkthrough is provided by SFD organizers, with examples from past events such as:

  • Public presentations introducing the benefits of Linux and open source.
  • Booths where representatives from your organization can answer questions, distribute organizational merch and information, and/or USB/DVD handouts of Linux.
  • A friendly competition for art, videos, music, or other media created with FOSS.
  • Linux installation workshops (potentially for old hardware to promote eco-recycling in your community.)
  • A showcase of FOSS success stories presented in collaboration with partners, clients, and or connections to volunteers.

For those involved in the training and distribution of the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) Essentials track, or possess LPI Web Development, Linux, and Security Essentials certificates, these introductory IT topics make a great subject matter for any SFD event. Essentials certificates promote the importance and mastery of foundational skills in programming, Linux, and everyday cybersecurity protection for those new to IT and open source. With the addition of free LPI Learning Materials in multiple languages, the importance of open knowledge and universal access to Essentials skills can be introduced to a variety of audiences.

Showcase your or your organization’s interest in supporting its local community and universal access to opportunities made possible by IT Skills and open source software by signing up to host a Software Freedom Day Event. For more information, check out the SFD Wiki, join the SFD Mailing List to chat with previous participants.

In 2004 my friend Matt Qquist, a member of my Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group, started the first Software Freedom Day. It has been my pleasure to attend several of these events around the world, meeting people who are curious about Software Freedom and our movement. This year I intend on presenting at a SFD event with the University of Sao Paulo. I hope that you too can find an existing SFD or start your own.

Sincerely,

Jon “maddog” Hall, Board Chair
And the team at LPI

About Jon "maddog" Hall:

Jon "maddog" Hall is the Chairman of the Board of the Linux Professional Institute. Since 1969, Mr. Hall has been a programmer, systems designer, systems administrator, product manager, technical marketing manager, author and educator, currently working as an independent consultant. Mr. Hall has concentrated on Unix systems since 1980 and Linux systems since 1994, when he first met Linus Torvalds and correctly recognized the commercial importance of Linux and Free and open source Software. As the Executive Director of Linux International(TM), Mr. Hall has traveled the world speaking on the benefits of open source Software having received his BS in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University, and his MSCS from RPI in Troy, New York.

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