If you are a stuent who arelooking forward to join with the GSoC 2012 and however not familiar with FOSS echo system or development there you would have probabaly may confused with the IRC. This post is a quick “how-to” for IRC.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat), simply can be introduced as a chat service that enables communicating with a group of people. Basiclly it enables discussing matter real time thus enable getting support quickly.
Most of Free Software organizations do have a separate IRC identification, in terminology it is called “channel”. Basically channel name is followed by #, for example the main IRC channel for fedora is termed as #fedora.
When you refer to an organization, you can easily find out their support IRC channel, depending on the purpose organizations use many channels. For an instance though #fedora is the Fedora projects main IRC channel, #fedora-meeting, channel is used to host meeting with in the projects. #fedora-devel is the main channel where development related stuffs are discussed in the Fedora project. Therefore effective usage is mandatory if you are planning to participate with the GSoC program.
There are many IRC chat clients freely avaiable, some clients like XChat are popular. If you are using a Linux distro, most of the tmie there is a default client. However if you are using any other OS or may be you dont have a IRC client installed you can eaislity join with the channel, rather than installing the client. The solutionis to use a web based IRC chat client. Here is the 3 step guide to get on to the board.
Step 1 : Find out the relevant channel you should join for the discussion.
Step 2: online IRC client is available at http://webchat.freenode.net/
Step 3: Fill out the welcome screen, choose a nick as you wish, enter the channel names which is followed by #. If you want to use more than one channel seperate them using comma (,). Hit the CAPTCHA and you are in.
Once you are connected with the channel you can introduce yourself and start chatting. But make sure you are not wasting their time and be polite as much as possible. 
Some simple and useful commands work on any IRC clients are noted below:
/join – join with a channel after you log in to the IRC client.
/nick – change your nick name after you log in to the IRC client. Enter the new nick name after /nick
/msg <nickname> <message> – Send a private message to a user. Substitute <nickname> with the nick name of the person you wish to send a private message.
/msg ebckurera How are you doing?