I used to think that getting selected for GSoC is the major part and following that things can be easily handled, well that’s when the Community Bonding period gives you a reality check. It’s really not that bad, but yeah I am writing this blog to give out the key points one should remember while contributing to Open-source projects.
The results got out on 4th May 2023, and that’s when the community bonding began. We already had a meeting lined up for May 9th at 15:00–16:00 UTC.
9th May 2023: Contributor Welcome Session
This was a 1-hour long session where Stephanie Taylor and Perry Burnham (GSoC Team Lead) gave us some insights about some common mistakes students make while contributing and also answered some FAQs like:
- How can we find our Acceptance Letter?
- Is my mentor the only one who is responsible for passing or failing me? Can GSoC Admins fail my project even if my mentor passes me?
- Can we help/contribute to our org AFTER GSoC is done?
- In what situations might contributors be required to contact GSoC Admins instead of our organizations and mentors?
Apart from this, they also gave us some examples of how students give up in the middle of the program and encouraged us to tackle some of the commonly faced problems.
After a couple of days, I had a meeting with my mentor in which we discussed some bugs and he asked me to start my coding period early since I am already familiar with the code base.
- Communication is the key and we as contributors should try to communicate as much as possible. Even if we are stuck with some issue either ask for help or let the mentor know what you’re facing. Basically, let the mentor know that you’re still alive.
- The stipend will be sent to our Payoneer account and we were asked to complete the registration process since it can take a while.
- You can also inform your mentor if you want to take a break for a few days due to some unpredicted reasons.
17th May 2023: GSoC 2023 Contributor Summit
This half-day summit aims to inspire and inform our contributors with talks from Googlers, GSoC mentors, and former GSoC contributors with time for Q&A. These talks include personal and professional GSoC and open-source journeys and tips on how to have a successful Google Summer of Code and beyond. Please check out the 2023 Contributor Summit Site for more agenda details.
This was a very helpful session and it gave me multiple insights:
- Interact more with the GSoC 2023 community and your organization’s community (OWASP in my case) and strive to communicate effectively with your mentor. While there is a difference between over-communicating and under-communicating, the side of over-communication is generally better.
- Document everything which you do during this period.
- Aim to commit around 20 hours per week to ensure you stay on schedule.
- Research similar projects and understand how they are growing.
- Even after the GSoC period, continue contributing and maintaining the project to gain experience and potentially become a future GSoC mentor.
This session was held on Youtube livestream and I also got to chat with some other GSoC contributors. It came to my knowledge that there is a telegram channel with all the contributors of this year to basically help them network. Even though I didn’t get the link on my mailing list, I tried branching out on LinkedIn and contacting other GSoC contributors and one of them finally helped me get into the channel.
There were multiple speakers and each one of them gave some useful key points.
- Rohan Lekhwani (SDE Amazon, contributor @ Rocketchat)
- Document everything, and write weekly/biweekly blogs to showcase your work.
2. Raymond Lo
- Learn version control
- Take feedback from mentors and reflect on the results.
- Learn GNOME and GCOMPRISE
- Code in a public repo
- Understand the community and try to contribute more than just code.
- Don’t just be limited to proposals and try branching out on your project.
- Help others, and build a network inside the organization.
- Make connections, collaborate, and share experiences.
- Repeat GSoC if haven’t already.
- Grow within an organization
6. Erica Hanson (Global GDSC Lead)
- Challenge your own solutions, and try to write more optimized code.
- Join a tech community, to gain more experience.
Before concluding the session, we had a short quiz, and the participants who scored the highest were awarded Google Summer of Code swags. It was a fun way to end the session and add a little friendly competition among the contributors.
With the session coming to an end, I embarked on writing blogs about my GSoC’23 journey. The next blog in line will focus on my two-week coding journey, highlighting the progress I made, challenges encountered, and lessons learned along the way.
Stay tuned for more updates and insights into my GSoC experience. See you soon!