Volunteering and getting involved

Does managing large Linux systems sound interesting? Or perhaps getting your hands dirty with servers and hardware? Or even programming web apps and Python libraries? Whatever your interest in tech is, there's definitely a place for you in the SRCF.

Ways to get involved

Join the online community

This is where members of the SRCF community come to chat, hang out and discuss ideas. Pick a platform of choice, we bridge all of them.

Express your interest

There is no "application process" -- anyone is free to contribute whenever they can but if you fill out the form below, we can get in touch with you directly.

Contribute to software

Most components of our operation are public on GitHub. Feel free to open an issue, or better yet, a pull request with your proposed changes.

What does volunteering look like?

Being a volunteer is an open-ended role with as much or as little commitment as you wish. A few things our volunteers do are:

Upkeep and maintenance of public servers

We run several publicly-facing servers that are used by over 1000 people. The general purpose shell server, pip and our web server sinkhole, for example, need constant maintenance. Other responsibilities include ensuring safe upgrades of Ubuntu to latest versions, managing virtualization of these servers and much more. This is a great opportunity for those interested in managing large Linux systems (NIS, Debian packaging) and networking (DNS, NFS).

Managing and running services

Apart from our core services, we run several other more complex services such as Mattermost and BigBlueButton. For anyone interested in gaining or improving their Linux, networking and software skills, running a service is a great chance to do so.

Developing software

Over the years, SRCF volunteers have produced software such as our control panel, Goose (our authentication service), and our own Python library. If you're interested in programming, this is a great chance to learn and improve your coding skills in a production context.

Tinkering with hardware

The SRCF runs its own servers located in the University. These need to be wired and connected to the Cambridge University Data Network, have their CPUs and associated firmware occasionally upgraded, and be managed for virtualization via Xen. In addition, we sometimes swap out hardware for newer boxes that are donated to us. For those interested in more low-level computing applications, this is a great chance to get a glimpse of "the cloud" that is ever-popular.

Answering support questions

There are many users that simply have questions about how to use our services, how to run their own software, or general computing questions. Volunteers can join a mailing list where they can answer user support questions. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our setup and computing in general while helping others.

Writing documentation

We all appreciate great documentation so we are committed to writing the best documentation for our users. Historically, many SRCF services have not been properly documented, however. Help us maintain our current docs up to date, write missing documentation for our services and our software.