Google Summer Of Code

Phase by phase insights

A bit about my GSoC story

2016:

Applied to Oppia, didn’t get through, but learned a lot.

2017:

Applied again, and this time to Python Software Foundation, Zenodo, and coala. Selected by coala and PSF.

2018:

Google Code-In Mentor, and now going to be a GSoC mentor (probably)

https://github.com/satwikkansal

Pre-selection Phase

Before organizations are announced

A lot of serious students already start contributing by this time.

High-time to begin if you’ve to maintain a decent chance of getting selected.

“Don’t put all your eggs in a single basket.”

Tips

Find out 2-3 organizations that:

  • Match with your interests
  • Seem active and have a good past reputation
  • Also, make sure if they’ve applied for GSoC

Hang out for a while, fix a couple of bugs, narrow down your choices of projects.

If you missed this phase, don’t worry, you still can make it.

After organizations are announced.

That’s when a lot of people rush in.

If you’ve failed to do anything till now, here’s a good opportunity:

Figure out organizations which are announced for the first time in a while.

And dive right in!

Else

Be consistent with your organization

Help other newcomers (Help them setup the project, Fixing issues, Creating PRs, using git, so on and so forth). The more you help others, the more you’ll be helped by others and the mentors. It’s a win-win.

Until the student application period

  • Remember, it’s not just about number of commits or Lines of Code you’ve written.
  • Start planning about your proposal in advance, don’t wait for too long.
  • Concentrate your contributions to the specific part of project you’ll be interested in.
  • Start discussing with project mentors (very important)
  • Start making prototypes, and mockups.
  • If you’re confident enough, share an initial draft of your proposal with the entire community. Don’t be too afraid of losing on your ideas to others, people know that you came up with all this, and it works the other way round than what most people expect.

Student Application Period

Adrenaline rush!

Try to complete your proposal and get feedback asap. (This is extremely important). Don’t delay! Mentors are going to be overloaded in the coming days.

Focus more on proposal, than increasing your issues, commits, lines of code.

Writing a good Proposal

Read each and every word of http://write.flossmanuals.net/gsocstudentguide/writing-a-proposal/

If you’re organization has shared some template, respect that.

Make your proposal stand out!

  • Use professional fonts, professional color themes.
  • Flowcharts, mockups, diagrams (The more, the better)
  • Timeline is extremely important.

You should know every inch of what you’re going to be working upon. Be as detailed as you can but don’t exaggerate un-necessarily. Don’t be over-ambitious (it’s gonna bite you later)

Review each other’s proposal.

Sample proposals

Application Review period

Most overlooked period.

Remember, results aren’t out yet!

Clean up your pending issues, PRs, enhance your proposal (keep discussing with your mentors).

While communicating.

Never ask to ask, just ask!

Don’t be too greedy, do your own research/debugging before resorting to ask on the channel. If you don’t do that, people will soon start ignoring, and won’t leave a good impression.

When you ask, let them know what all have you tried till now. A common structure could be “Here’s the problem that I’m facing, here’s all that I’ve tried to fix it, and here are the logs/error that I’m getting”

If you would like to take a break of day or two in between, let everyone in the channel know that you’ll be unavailable for these days for such and such reasons. Be honest and try not to make excuses.

If often helps to re-read your messages/mails/comments before actually posting them.

After the results

In case you’re not selected,

Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. The experience would be still worth it, and you can still work on the projects.

And if you’re selected (which I know you’d be :)

Stick by your proposal. Try to be ahead in your timeline. Don’t overwork if you don’t want to. And yes, think thrice before pursuing GSoC along with an internship. I’ve done that, and I’d never try that again in my life.

What “not” to expect from GSoC

Happy coding!!

Google Summer Of Code - Google Slides