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Run regular training/learn-ins for basic infrastructure #1248
This issue is intended to supersede #523 and is inspired by the enthusiasm I saw in the take-up for Zarino's Git lesson at Livlug: http://www.livlug.org.uk/2019/09/september-2019-meeting/
We always feel we should do talks on the latest cutting edge IoT inventions, but what people really want and need are sessions on the basic software tools where the learning curve is a bit steep: like Inkscape, Gimp, Git/Github, SSH-keys, Libreoffice.
We could schedule these "looks boring to us but could be a lesson that changes someone's life" talks on a monthly basis on rotation and advertise them informally. The first session on any tool would probably be crap, but when you lead a session on how to use Inkscape the following year, it'll be great. And the lessons are guaranteed to be filled with new people.
And we shouldn't overlook other software services that take experience and some experimentation to do something useful, that a lot of people want to know how to use and would come along for, like the workflow through an eBay sale, an AWS server spinup, twitter account, AirBNB, Kickstarter, peopleperhour, facebook groups/company pages, google page analytics. There are small but extremely valuable insights to be picked up in the operations of all of these services just in terms of the basic mechanism. These sessions may cost money, because accounts will be opened and transactions will be made.
(For example, can you do an entire kickstarter cycle or ebay sale in one evening, including all the ratings and feedback bits?)
Finally, there's product testing of competitive services. For example, there's all the new banking apps (revolut, mondex, etc). Get people who use the different ones to show+see what they all do, and find features and techniques you don't know about, as well as hear about the hidden costs.
Another example: all the different chat-messaging things (telegram, whatapp, messenger, irc). This session would have us setting the account of one of them up from scratch, and working out how to teach it to someone else (eg your gran).
Other ideas: editing a wikipedia article, contributing to stackoverflow, updating something in openstreetmaps, packaging a python module, using qgis to make a printed map of a footpath walk, scanning a document and converting to text.
Proposed title of the series: "Skills for granted."
Sounds a good idea to me.
I already run courses on Social Media/Online Visibility for startups with The Prince's Trust so I'd be happy to give my time reprising that and doing stuff around the more common Social platforms, basic SEO or setting up a Wordpress site from scratch etc.
On the other side of the coin, I'd be interested in attending (& paying if needs be) for ones on Inkscape, laser stuff and other interesting stuff. One of the beauties of DoES is that we've got expertise on SO many different things.
This is something I've been a proponent of for years - there is real mileage in classes in what we might consider very basic things.
I'm going to assign this to myself to remind me to search out people who could/would be interested in run/ning things, and see if we can get something started.