Build Instructors

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Daily tasks

  • stocking
  • keeping machines on shelves in order
  • Doing daily Build Orientations for prospective build volunteers.

General responsibilities

  • contribute to documentation, update wiki
  • Groom Build Volunteers to become Assistants and maintain schedules for Builders and Instructors.
  • stay in communication with prospective Builders. Make contact with prospective builders and inform them of the build orientations.
  • Check supplies of tested hardware, orderly workbenches and toolkits, safe and supportive environment.
  • Inventory finished computers and ensure profile is attached to each.
  • Provide support, assistance and encouragement to beginner Build Volunteers.


  • Build Volunteer for over 30 hours.
  • Knowledge of common hardware and software issues.
  • Willingness to train folk and answer questions from both volunteers and the public.
  • Experience: Building competence; organisational capacity; teaching experience; First Aid; human resources and consensus experience a plus.

Before the shift begins:

    • Check the calendar to see who's expected today, and note how many slots are open. Often people show up without a reservation and you should have some idea of how many stations are available.
    • Check the whiteboard for today's "What to BUILD today" instructions. Also check the numbers of the various types of machines that are fully built and that need QC and encourage builders to work on the more needed tasks.
    • Make sure supplies are available:
      1. RAM in steel cabinet. Replenish supplies from dismantle
      2. Hard drives: See what's available in the__TBA_______ . Fill tub with appropriate number of appropriately sized wiped drives from under the wiping station, do imaging throughout the session as you get a chance, mark imaged drives with a yellow marker dot, place with other installed drives (should be done by the drive station).
      3. Make Build-QC sheets, stickers etc as needed.
      4. Button batteries if needed. Get them from Eval. Keeping them in neat piles rather than in a jumble greatly lessens the chance of shorting out a good battery. Beware the digital voltmeters; when their internal 9 volt battery dies, they give false positives such as reading 3.04v for a battery that is really only 2.61. The analogue voltmeters aren't accurate enough to decide between 2.97 and 3.03 but they are useful to compare readings with the digital voltmeters.

During the shift:

    • Greet people as they arrive, get their name, introduce yourself as their instructor.
      1. If a person is new to build, make sure they have done the command line class ("What's the difference between cp and mv?" is a fair test); a blank look means that they are really just starting pre-build and should go directly to part sorting.
      2. Persons starting their first QC should have their own personal record sheet available (get it at the front desk), and it should have part sorting, eval, and command line checked off. If at all possible, start the first QC with a very ordinary box that is unlikely to have interesting problems. Instruct that software shutdown is always to be used rather than the power switch or removal of the power cord. A box with known keystroke to enter BIOS, preferably noted on the build sheet, is good; we don't want a total puzzlement like this to be the student's first experience with build.
      3. Persons who have finished their QC's and are starting their first build need to be shown where to find boxes in the warehouse and what to look for in the boxes: no missing case parts, not exotic. Please have them record the BIOS entry key on the build sheet so that the beginning QC'er can find it, and record hardware details as build progresses for when support is needed in the future.
      4. During the session, keep an eye out for people, especially new ones, who look lost or troubled. Help gently. Try too, to make sure that people are going through the process of QCing. Do check the box over carefully both for specs and cosmetically. Make sure that any Microsoft certification stickers are removed or obliterated.

At the end of the shift:

    • Start cleaning up for the next shift, perhaps 15 minutes in advance. It's also important at the end of the afternoon shift to get the builders out on time so the staff can go home too.