# Week 0: Course Introduction

Open source hardware is a heterogeneous group of practices, projects, artifacts, communities and lately a field of research, that can be found in a diversity of domains.

_In this program we focus on applying open source hardware practices to projects. Each project and team probably has different goals, motivations and expertise. However, there is some common ground: your artifact must work for your users, it must be safe and it should allow people to contribute to its development. _

This program has two parts:

  • First part focused on internal design and development, centered on the product and the core team,
  • _Second part focused on designing for successful contributions based on open source practices. _

Both parts are addressed during the different weeks of the program, through specific goals, resources, tools and assignments that will help develop your project. Finally, you will apply what you learned in a real situation, or Sprint, in week 12.

_The backbone of this program is the Open Source Hardware canvas. This is an adaptation of the already well known business canvas, with some characteristics that are constant no matter what particular piece of hardware is being developed in your project. This prototyping canvas can be used as the rubric, allowing projects to assess their own progress. _

Tools we may mention/use along the program

Along the way of developing your open source hardware project, you need different software tools to help you.

In this living list are some of the ones we’ve seen are mostly used by the community, and are open source (if in doubt of open source alternatives you can always check at AlternativeTo). All collaborations welcome!

Preparing for the program

The first step or week 0 is to get familiar with the tools we will be using for managing your project, documenting it, learning along the program and for the mentor/mentee interactions.

As we mentioned, we will be working with the open source canvas. Every week we are going to go into detail in one of the parts of the canvas, building up on each of them to start thinking about your project from the value/benefits it brings to you and the community, and moving forward into how to make it real.

**Goal of the week: **get familiar with tools to use during the program and draft your first open canvas

Logistics tasks to complete

  1. Contact your mentor and schedule the meetings for the program, bearing in mind the schedule.
  2. Make a copy of this template for your meetings’ notes with mentor, share link with mentor.
  3. Join the Riot chat channel.

Assignments to complete (see week 0 checklist)

  1. Get familiar with Markdown.
  2. Get familiar with GitHub, create an account if you don’t have one and share your username with us.
  3. Create a GitHub repository in our organization account for your project (if you have one, fork it): https://github.com/Open-Hardware-Leaders
    • Contact Andre to get access to the GitHub organization (andremaia.chagas@gmail.com)
  4. Get familiar with the canvas we will use. Write down a value proposition for your projects, try to ask yourself about the assumptions you are making, and note them down. You will review this with your mentor in Week 1.


Further readings

Please check our collaborative list of open hardware readings in GitHub, and feel free to add your references.