Facebook, in an effort to help students prepare for a career as a software engineer, has launched Open Academy, which helps students get credit for contributing to open source projects.

In explaining the reason for the launch of Open Academy, Facebook reveals, “Software development as a profession has many features that are distinct from computer science as an academic subject. Projects are often larger than the people who participate in them; project management and interpersonal relationships can have as much impact on software design as technical issues; and systems are ultimately evaluated by user satisfaction rather than technical merit.”

Once a student signs up with Open Academy, they will be assigned to a project on which they will code with a mentor that has been picked for them as well. These mentors will give lectures, review students’ code as well as teach them about open source too.

This expansion which involves 22 other universities comes after its successful pilot with Stanford last year and now includes schools such as UC Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon and UPenn.

With the winter 2014 session beginning in February, both mentors and students will kick-off the semester with a visit to Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ and after which, they will work in virtual teams from their respective schools.

Of course, Facebook’s reason to launch such an initiative is not entirely altruistic in nature since it will also pave the way for top students from this program to work for Facebook once they graduate.

The company also offers computer science grants and conducts hackathons so as to edge out other tech giants in hiring the top talent in the industry every year.


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