[development] Google Summer of Code is Back! Sign Up!

Sumit Kataria sumitk at sumitk.net
Wed Jan 26 22:33:07 UTC 2011

Hi All,

Google Summer of Code is back! It has been publicly
and applications from mentoring organizations (that's us - Drupal) to
participate will be due the last week of Feb (just in time for everyone to
be distracted by Drupalcon!).

No organization admin has been chosen yet. That will be decided in coming

So let's start talking strategy about how to tackle managing SoC moving
forward. We need people to help, preferably by a team of former mentors,
students, and ardent summer of code fans.

Know everything already? Don’t wanna read more! Want to help? Sign yourself
up <http://groups.drupal.org/node/121634>!
What happens during SoC? SoC is roughly broken up into 6 phases:

   1. Pre-applications: There is a bunch of up-front work that needs to be
   done in order to submit an application to be a mentor organization in SoC.
   Among the tasks here include recruiting mentors, coming up with potential
   SoC projects for students to work on, and working out logistics about how
   the later steps are going to happen. Work should ideally start on this
   now, or very soon.
   2. Submitting mentor application: Each organization that takes part
   (Eclipse, Drupal, Apache, etc.) needs to submit an application in order to
   be accepted into Summer of Code. There are a variety of questions, about
   motivation, about plans of attack for various problems that come up, etc.
   Here is our application from 2008 <http://groups.drupal.org/node/9487>,
   for reference.
   3. Reviewing student applications: If we're accepted as a mentoring
   organization, about a week later applications will start coming in from
   students. These need to be reviewed and voted on by the mentoring team.
   Voting ranks the applications, and the number of slots we get from Google
   will give us the top N applicants.
   4. "Community bonding" time: There is a 2-month period before Summer of
   Code officially starts that's intended to be a bit of 'dipping baby toes'
   into the water of a community. Things like getting a CVS account, setting up
   a wiki page / drupal.org project.
   5. Summer of Code: Here's where the actual coding and mentoring happens,
   over the summer. The biggest thing to do here is to make sure students (and
   mentors!) are keeping on track and not falling off the face of the earth.
   Constant communication is key. Be aware that Google will require a mid-term
   and final report from all mentors and students, and the mentors never follow
   through, so you will need to beat them.
   6. Post-Summer of Code: Here's an area where we've traditionally kind of
   failed miserably. Far too often, students get to the end of SoC and we never
   hear from them again. We should start envisioning ways we can entice
   students to stick around for the long-term.

About Mentor Recruiting The more mentors we have in the more diverse areas,
the more of a chance there is we can take more students. Mentors should be
knowledgeable in their subject matter, kind and patient with new people, and
available for at least 5-10 hours/week over the summer. You'll need gmail
addresses from all of them, because they'll need to be added to the mentor
panel on Google's side. If the timing works out, recruiting at Drupalcon
would be ideal.Traditionally, Drupal has had a system where each student is
assigned two mentors, in case one is unavailable. I believe there's some
contention around how well this works in practice, so we could talk about
changing this if we want. The downside of the two-mentor rule is that if we
end up with 20 slots again, that means you're essentially managing 60+
people and making sure no one's slipping through the cracks. This is really
challenging, and is worth putting some thought into from the outset on how
to deal with this.Experience has shown that lots of people want to be
mentors in theory, but can't actually hack it when the time comes (almost
universally, due to unforseen unavailability). I recommend pairing a known
experienced mentor with a new keen one. More often than not, the new keen
one will be the superstar, but the old experienced one can lend guidance
when required.About Project Proposals A good proposal is challenging. It
needs to be specced out, but not too specced out. It needs to be do-able
within a 2 month timeframe, bearing in mind that about half of these
students are coming in with no Drupal experience. It needs to have community
support. And, it needs a competent mentor (preferably more than one).Each
year, we handled this by asking community members (and students!) to propose
their projects on http://groups.drupal.org/google-summer-code-2011 This
allowed them to be vetted, which was actually kind of nice because it weeded
out a few that were never going to be accepted. It also helps when ranking
the applications if something has a lot of people excited about it.Okay, so
how are we going to do this? Want to help? Sign yourself

*Sumit Kataria*
(415) 830-6313 | Skype: sumit.kataria1
Google Voice: (510) 394-4339 <https://www.google.com/voice/#phones>
LinkedIn <http://www.linkedin.com/in/sumitkataria> MyBlog<http://www.sumitk.net>
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