Stan here. The following blogpost compares this student job at open Summer of code 2015 with school. I’m going to school at Odisee campus Ghent and I’m in the third year of my professional bachelor IT right now. My future plan is to get a master degree industrial engineer in Electronics-IT. If everything goes according to the plan, I should get it in 3 years.
The field of study at my school is really big. We learn about web programming, software programming, network management, system management, electronics and much more. This implies that I have a lot of knowledge about different sectors in the IT world, but I am not a specialist in one specific IT sector. If I compare this with #oSoc15, I can conclude that #oSoc15 focuses more on one project and you really acquire in-depth knowledge about a certain programming language/subject.
The help you get in school is also really different from the help you get at #oSoc15. In school they mostly help you by giving you a new piece of documentation or tell you to google it. At #oSoc15 people really help you with your code and explain what you are doing wrong or how you are thinking in a wrong way.
The nice thing about #oSoc15 is that everyone has his own speciality. So if you don’t know something, you can ask it to someone who is specialized in that subject. In school, teachers are always specialized in their course but don’t have much knowledge about other stuff. The colleague students at school mostly have the same knowledge as me because they are all learning the same things as me, obviously. So at school there isn’t that much knowledge diversity.
Another big difference between school and #oSoc15 is that the latter also requires a programmer to promote their product, write blogposts, do pitches, create issues on Github and all kinds of other stuff about making your product and the company you work for known. These are very important skills that a programmer should acquire, but school only focuses on programming itself.
There are a lot of other differences between #oSoc15 and school, but to sum things up we could say that school focuses more on a high learning curve and #oSoc15 focuses more on working in a business environment, branding, promoting and even creating your own start-up.