by Ken Fogel, Co-Chairperson and Co-Program Coordinator, Computer Science Technology at Dawson College 

I am an instructor in the Computer Science Technology Program at Dawson College https://www.dawsoncollege.qc.ca/computer-science-technology/ in Montreal, the host city this year for ApacheCon. Our program, unlike those found in universities, takes, primarily, students right from high school and over three years trains them to be software developers. Our program focuses on the practical aspects of being a developer and focus on preparing our students for the workplace on their first day on the job.

Our primary teaching language is Java. The open source community around Java is one of the most vibrant in the industry. In our program we use primarily open source tools and libraries. We encourage our students to participate in open source projects where we can.

When I started in the industry the concept of open source was unheard of. There was Trial Ware and Nag Ware. You bought software from Microsoft and IBM. Things are very different now. It is not the software that is the revenue stream but the value the software brings to a solution. From this approach, in my opinion, comes the concept of open source. For example, its not the server that is the product but the web site that runs on the server.

As an instructor for over 30 years it is easy for me to loose touch with the industry outside the walls of Dawson College. Attending industry conferences rather than academic conferences is what has allowed me to keep in contact with the industry. I have learned a great deal about the real world of software development that I have brought into my classroom. I have also had the opportunity to contribute to these conferences.

This year a new project has joined the Apache fold, NetBeans http://netbeans.apache.org/ . I have been a proponent of NetBeans in the classroom for many years. It has allowed me to focus on teaching software development skills rather than being the technical support for the IDE. It does not get in the way of my students as they learn about programming and put there skills into practice. At this year's ApacheCon I am looking forward to learning more about the wide array of projects in the Apache fold. Not only that but I will also be presenting NetBeans at this year's conference https://apachecon.dukecon.org/acna/2018/#/scheduledEvent/7e6b57d36ccd834f2 . Come and join us to be inspired by what Apache has to offer and to discover why NetBeans may be, not only the best IDE for education, but possibly the best IDE for commercial development.

ApacheCon, the official global conference of The Apache Software Foundation, showcases "Tomorrow's Technology Today" across 350+ Apache projects and their communities. We are celebrating ApacheCon's 20th Anniversary 23-27 September 2018 in Montreal. 100+ sessions, keynotes, BarCamp, Hackathon, BoFs, Lighting Talks, evening events, excellent networking opportunities, and much more. Join us! http://apachecon.com/ Follow us! https://twitter.com/ApacheCon

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