Sergio Amadeu is the newest addition to the HackerTeen staff

The sociologist will be responsible for information society courses.

Starting in September, the university professor and sociologist Sergio Amadeu, ex-president of ITI and a member of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, will take charge of the information society classes for HackerTeen. During the course, the professor will present the impact of information and communication technology monopolies on society.

The first class took place on the 1st of September at the Project Casulo headquarters where a lecture was given for 48 underprivileged students who will be trained by HackerTeen by means of a partnership between the IBI Institute, Project Casulo and HackerTeen. During his inaugural class, Sergio Amadeu spoke about the importance of open source software in the information society and its constant growth. &Ldquo;In Brazil, most large companies already work with the Linux platform. This, therefore, points to a broadening of the job market for professionals who are trained in our technology”, he said.

Designed for adolescents from 14 to 19 years of age, HackerTeen provides technical and ethical courses on IT security and entrepreneurship. It utilizes the Linux open source software as its operational platform. Courses on entrepreneurship, ethics, Linux, programming and, something new–the information society-are all part of the curriculum.

According to the professor, “The information society classes are important because young people need to be aware that technology is never neutral, and that most of it is developed and used to benefit everyone. The internet is a good example of this because it has been set up by hackers and the academic community, since the network was based on open protocols and not proprietary ones; the collaborative model of open source software is, therefore, the essence of the internet”.

According to the Gartner Group, 70 to 100 of the largest companies in Brazil are already using open source software platforms for their applications and, in São Paulo, 14% of the companies use OpenOffice. Some local governments and municipalities, such as Rio das Ostras, in Rio de Janeiro and Joinville, in Santa Catarina, have also switched their operational systems to open source protocol software. And, according to Sergio Amadeu, “We are only at the beginning of this migration process”. Casas Bahias Department Stores, for example, have based 100% of their technology structure on Linux; Nokia is going to switch its operational system to Linux and has chosen Brazil as the place where it is going to put together its center for customizing Linux. “We were chosen because the development community in languages and open source platforms is growing rapidly in Brazil. Whoever wants to get a job must master open source operational systems, such as Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and must be familiar with open source software”, the sociologist warns.

“Open source software is the most efficient model for developing and maintaining software, for this reason its use is growing in Brazil and abroad. Companies are looking for young people who are familiar with open source software and who are competent and eager. Quite a few young people who we have taught in Linux in the Telecenters of São Paulo have been hired; imagine those who receive a complete course like we give at HackerTeen”, says Mr. Amadeu.

There is growing concern in the country about young people because many of them relate much more to the virtual world, to internet and computer games, than to the real world. According to Marcelo Marques, 4Linux director of marketing and strategies, 4Linux is a company which specializes in services and training based on open source software and is the creator of the project. The objective is to guide this interest. “We want to channel the potential of young computer jocks towards productive and professional activities so that they don't become crackers”, said Marques. “Besides this, young people do have to be alerted to the fact that these excesses have negative effects”, he concluded.

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