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!

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