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In-progress page. To come: Tasks in each area and ideal volunteer characteristics for each area. Also to come: How to apply for a post-build area, available schedules.

Expectations for Post-Build Volunteers

  • Volunteers in Post-Build areas will help further Free Geek's mission while learning about Laptops, Advanced Testing, Servers, Hardware Grants, and/or Mac Build as long as they respect Free Geek and its policies and procedures.
  • Volunteers in Post-Build areas will not be eligible for "first dibs" on gizmos and this attitude is not appropriate for volunteering in a Post-Build area.
  • Volunteers in Post-Build areas are not to bring personal items to work on, including laptops and thumb drives.
  • Volunteers in Post-Build areas agree to sign up at the Front Desk for a shift, to log their hours on completion of that time and to check in bags and personal items at the front desk while volunteering. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis for bringing personal items back (please ask your instructor about the Bag Pass).
  • As with any area of Free Geek, volunteers in Post-Build areas can expect Free Geek to respect their volunteer time as a contribution to making Free Geek an even more awesome place and are encouraged to talk to any staff member if they feel disrespected in any way.

Post-Build Areas

Advanced Testing

  • Description: Work independently among others to test computer components for reuse or sales.
  • The Ideal Volunteer: is excited about testing computer components; works well among peers; is a problem solver; does not get easily frustrated; is able to teach others; is detail oriented

Build Instructor/Assistant

  • Description: Work with the staff Coordinator in order to assist build volunteers. This job requires a weekly commitment with substantial responsibilities and yields a lot of reward.
  • The Ideal Volunteer: enjoys the Build Program; has an aptitude for teaching; works well with and enjoys working with other people; demonstrates knowledge of Free Geek build process; has a high technical skill level; consults w/ staff; can make quick decisions; can pay attention to a lot of things at once; is willing to perform side tasks (hard drive imaging, supply restocking, cleaning, etc.)

Hardware Grants

  • Description: Work with the Hardware Grants supervisor and other volunteers in order review incoming grant applications, communicate with recipients, and eventually disburse their equipment. This job requires a weekly commitment of at least eight hours with substantial responsibilities and yields a lot of reward.
  • The Ideal Volunteer: communicates promptly, clearly, and is friendly, flexible, patient, and outgoing; is willing to learn and use multiple computer programs; is able to act as a spokesperson for Free Geek.


  • Description: Work with a small group to QC and rebuild laptops.
  • The Ideal Volunteer: is not motivated by the desire to scope out laptops and parts; has the ability or potential to understand technical stuff; needs to be comfortable with Ubuntu software (e.g. using Synaptic Package Manager, Brasero/K3B, etc.); needs to be comfortable navigating command line; very good at navigating BIOS; needs to be able to solve problems on their own (can't need help every step); independent, but able to ask questions; willing to troubleshoot and research problems online; demonstrated aptitude to learn more; a commitment to learning about laptop build and to give back to the program.- semi-long term. ability to work with small parts; follow directions. willingness to do what needs to be done in area(outside of build process) ex. recycling, sorting, etc.


  • Description: Work independently among others to Build and QC Macintosh desktops and laptops. Macland also includes some side recycling and component testing tasks.
  • The Ideal Volunteer: has some software knowledge and understanding of command line; is able to work in a less structured program; is able to work independently on complicated projects; is able to work with or assist other volunteers; has good problem solving skills.


  • Description: Evaluate and build server-class equipment for Freegeek's infrastructure, thrift store, and hardware grants. Some recycling pre-processing as well.
  • The Ideal Volunteer: has more patience than they know what to do with; enjoys troubleshooting absurdly complicated proprietary memory requirements; looks up motherboard manuals on-line; able to work without written documentation and somewhat ad-hoc verbal instruction; is curious about exotic hardware without being overly attached to it; able and willing to lift extremely heavy equipment

Tech Support

  • Description: Assist volunteers, grantees and store costumers with hardware and usability issues with their Free Geek computers.
  • The Ideal Volunteer: likes problem solving, ability to communicate effectively with people, able to ask answerable questions, listen to answers, experience with command line, some sort of support background a plus. Linux background necessary. Must be nice to people. Understands the limits to their own knowledge and is unafraid to ask questions and seek help. Able to work on their own initiative while sticking to the boundaries of established procedure. Capable of working in a methodical manner. Likes documenting things.

How to apply for a Post-Build Area

Take the Command Line class

  • If you haven't already. You can sign up for these at the Front Desk.

Talk to a Build instructor

  • They will be able to give you an application for Post-Build. You will need a recommendation from a Build instructor.
  • Your application will be reviewed by a Reuse Program Coordinator and they will follow up with you to let you know the next steps to take.

Questions to Consider When You're Thinking About Applying to a Post-Build Area

Things that are necessary

  • Do you enjoy the challenges of troubleshooting and working problems out on your own?
  • Do you actively use the resources available to you when encountering a new problem (i.e., the wiki, Google, etc)?
  • Do you like learning new things, even if they may be challenging at first?

Things that are helpful

  • Do you enjoy working with and helping other people?
  • Are you able to pass along information to others by teaching (rather than telling)?
  • Do you have enough experience with Linux/Ubuntu and command line to feel comfortable using them on a regular basis?

Questions for Build Instructors to Consider When Recommending Some One for a Post-Build Area

Things that are necessary

  • Does this person have an aptitude for troubleshooting and problem-solving independently?
    • Do they actively use the resources available to them (such as the wiki and Google)?
  • Do they consistently follow our procedures, like the Build Checklists?
  • Is this person detail-oriented?
  • Do you get the sense that they are committed to the mission of Free Geek?

Things that are helpful

  • Do they voluntarily help others around them? Can they communicate in an effective, positive way (and can you think of an example)?
  • Does this person have a good amount of technical experience (i.e., Linux/Ubuntu and/or command line)?

If the answer is 'no' to any of the above, please explain on their application why you think this person should still move on to their Post-Build area of choice.