Thursday, April 19, 2007

Check Out Planet SoC!

Angela Byron, a.k.a. webchick, has once again created the Summer of Code blog planet. Go check it out, play around in the forums, add your blog feed to the site or create a new blog on the planet. I'm looking forward to reading all of your 'summer' stories.

Thanks again to Angie. Webchick, you rock!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So what is this community bonding all about?

One of the biggest changes to the program this year is the inclusion of nearly two extra months in the program timeline. We got some great feedback from our students and mentors last year that three months is often too little time to read necessary documentation, write code and participate in the organization's community in-depth. Since our not so secret desire is for our students to stick around and keep contributing to their organization's code base long after the program ends, we figured we'd give you some extra time to get up to speed on the community side.

In practice, the community bonding period is all about, well, community bonding. Rather than jumping straight into coding, you've got some time to learn about your organization's processes - release and otherwise - developer interactions, codes of conduct, etc. We also figured it would be easier to socially engage with your fellow developers when the pressure to ship isn't looming in your vision. I know few folks who didn't lurk in a project's IRC channel for weeks or even months before submitting their first patch, let alone saying hello and getting to know the other folks in the channel.

If you've already worked with with your organization's code base and developers, great! Take this time to help out your fellow students who haven't. There's a great deal of undocumented lore in every community, and your previous experience can be invaluable to them as they get started.

And why aren't you mentoring already? ;)

Friday, April 13, 2007

What Happens Now?

The acceptance stir has stilled and #summer-discuss on Slashnet is largely quiet. If you're an accepted student or brand new mentor, you're probably wondering "What happens now?"

This year, we've built nearly two extra months into the program time line to give students time to integrate with their communities and get up to speed before starting their coding projects. Now is the perfect time to introduce your students to your project in depth. Here are some tips with you to help you get started.

Mentors and organization administrators, take this time to reach out to your accepted students: welcome them to the project and make sure they know who their mentor and, if applicable, back up mentor will be. Let them know where they can take questions if they can't reach their mentor. Encourage them to talk amongst themselves to build camaraderie and mutual inspiration.

Students, if you haven't already, sign up for your project's development mailing lists and hang out in your organization's forums or IRC channel. Start learning more about the way social interactions occur between its developers. If you take the time to learn now how the members of your organization communicate, you'll be able to tell the difference between idle banter and developers concentrating on solving a serious problem. Certainly helps you to not step in with a question at an inopportune time.

In addition, now is a great time to get started on all the administrivia needed to begin contributing to the project. Do you need to get a CVS account? Rethink your project plan? Get access to other project resources so you can get started? Your mentor will be able to help you with these things.

New mentors, if you're not sure of all the points to cover with your students, I'd check out Robert Douglass' post. It contains most of the salient points sent in Drupal's introductory email to their 2007 students. If you haven't already taken the time to send your students a message with this type of information, this weekend is a fine time to do it.

On the Google side, we're working on getting the mailing lists and blog planet together. We're looking forward to spending another year with some of you and starting a new one with many of you. Google Summer of Code 2007 is on!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Acceptances for Google Summer of Code

Accepted students for Google Summer of Code 2007 have been announced! You can check out the full list of accepted students by visiting the individual organization pages.

Above and beyond that, we've got some more great news for the community. We'd originally planned to accept roughly 600 applicants, around the same number we had for the program in 2006. However, we heard almost universally from our participating open source organizations that the applications they'd received were of particularly high quality. Rather than turn these brilliant students away, we increased the number of students we accepted to over 900.

For those students who were not accepted into the program, we offer you our sincerest regrets. We had many more applications - nearly 6,200 in fact - than we had space for in the program. We'd still like to encourage you to work on your projects outside of GSoC, and we're sure you'll be able to find willing and able mentors to help you get started.

Needless to say, we're stoked about the program this year and have some very cool stuff in store. Stay tuned here for more news on the forthcoming Google Summer of Code blog planet.

We're also planning a program podcast this year, more details to follow. In the interim, you can check out the interview with Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman, two of the engineers behind the project hosting service on Google Code and mentors for the Subversion project, on Feather Cast.