[fedora-india] [OT: kind of] GSoC advice etc

Pradeepto Bhattacharya pradeeptob at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 16:07:28 UTC 2009


On Sun, Mar 29, 2009 at 7:09 PM, Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay
<foss.mailinglists at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I know that both mentors and GSoC-ers from past years are on this
> list. Any tips, inputs, guidance to the applicants this year would be
> more than welcome. So, could we see some hand-holding ? Especially as
> the window closes this coming Friday ?


and ...

Following is verbatim copy of Madhusudan CS ( ex-SoC dude ) article in
the KDE handbook.

Google Summer of Code
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a program that offers student
developers stipends to contribute code for various open source
projects. We are proud to share with you that KDE was the largest
umbrella in GSoC 2008, with Google assigning 48 students slot to KDE.
The program works like this, Google selects the FOSS communities as
mentoring organizations(MOs) and those organization. Those MOs list
ideas for their projects. Prospect students can select one of them or
come up with their own and write a detailed proposal after doing some
research on that idea. And those proposals are ranked by mentors and
the best student proposals are selected.

Following are the points which we have experienced and have heard from
the students participating in previous years to get into GSoC without
much pain.

    * First of all have a clear vision of contributing to a FOSS project.
    * Select a project in such a way that - working on that project
interests you and your are passionate about. If improving that project
really interests you and if you like its philosophies and vision then
that may be the project you are looking for. No point in selecting
projects half heartedly. For example, you are an amateur astronomer
and user of KStars and really like it. Now you have a cool idea
regarding the same, then make a proposal for same. Maybe you could
send patches that could fix a small bug or such. And you don't need to
do this right before making the SoC proposal, start early. Earn the
respect of people who might become your future mentors.
    * The whole idea behind paying students to work on a FOSS project
is to get more and more contributors to the FOSS community. Its not
just about a single project where students run away after completing
the project and getting the money.
    * Keeping these things in mind, its never early to start
contributing to the project you like. Start as soon as possible.
Probably today, may be right now! Yes, you heard it right - NOW!. The
idea is to join the community and project group early have get
yourself familiar with the code base, the community itself long before
the SoC actually starts. Start contributing to the project in small
bits and pieces ( send patches and such ) for starters to get your
feet wet, moving to higher and better targets. Thus earning a bit of
credibility from the community and in the process gaining enough
knowledge to know what the project really needs. And finally submit a
proposal based on your experience which in effect results in a much
better proposals.
    * When reviewing student proposals, the mentors usually looks for
the credibility of the students. So if you are already contributing
you already know people in the community and most probably your
prospect mentor himself and have great a chance of getting selected.
    * Keep in mind that, if mentors somehow feel like you may not be
of any help in the long run, you may not be selected. This is not to
tell you to pose as if you stay for the community in the long run, but
to really prove you are worth it and you are a real gain in the long
run (Be extra careful, mentors are really really intelligent people).
    * Communication is the most important aspect of GSoC. As soon as
you select an idea, don't start doing things in dark and bang with
your proposal all of a sudden. Do things as transparently as possible.
Communicate with your community and potential mentors at every stage
while preparing the proposal. Feel free to ask about things you either
did not understand or want more info about on the project's IRC
Channel or mailing list. They will be kind and more than willing to
help you. Don't put false or wrong things on your proposal. Show that
you can carry off things well.

If the above points are kept in mind, we think GSoC just happens, you
need not struggle for it!


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KDE India : http://www.kde.in
Mailing List : http://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde-india

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