If you are interested in contributing to SIPB's computing services and in helping users with unusual computing questions, consider becoming a member. Full membership in SIPB is granted after becoming socially integrated and "Furthering the Goals of SIPB" for a sustained period.
A big part of the value of SIPB is in the social interaction. Many members spend much of their spare time hanging out in the SIPB office: hacking on personal, SIPB, or class projects or chatting with fellow SIPB members about topics technical and otherwise.
Prospective members are encouraged to hang out around the SIPB office during meetings (they're Mondays at 7:30PM) and at other times (check the door icon on sipb.mit.edu to see if the office is open). (Coming to at least four meetings is required to be membered, though usually this happens before prospectives are otherwise ready to be membered.)
"Furthering the Goals of SIPB", or FTGOSing, usually means working on some SIPB projects.
Our technical projects can generally absorb arbitrary amounts of attention. If you are already familiar with the relevant skills, you may be able to find the bugtracker and just get started. Even if you don't have those skills, if you talk to people involved in a project you're interested in they'll probably be happy to help somebody enthusiastic learn the necessary skills.
You can also start your own SIPB project if you're so inclined. The best way to start a SIPB project is to pick some computing-related problem that is important to you, find some like-minded individuals, and try to solve it, discussing your ideas and plans around the SIPB office, and reporting on your progress to the SIPB. The most successful SIPB projects have often been things that the people involved really wanted to do, and found resources or collaborators to do them through SIPB.
There are many possible ways to get involved in SIPB, but one route is:
If you follow something like this process and get some contributions into some SIPB project, you're probably doing fine at FTGOS. You probably can't do all of that on your own, though. That's fine, since you also need to get socially integrated. Feel free to talk to people around SIPB about each of those steps, and somebody will probably be happy to help you through them.
Prospective members are encouraged to hang out in the SIPB office anytime it is open, which it is on a typical weekday afternoon and evening. We strive to make it a fun and comfortable place to work on projects, homework, or anything else by providing an array of amenities:
If you have any questions about SIPB or the SIPB membership process, or ideas for projects, feel free to either drop by our office (W20-557) or contact the Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.