Org perspective on Google Summer of Coding – Part 1

GSoC 2013 has been announced recently and both organizations and students have started working towards achieving the ultimate glory as Google OSO termed.

For a Free Software organization, GSoC is actualizing a good opportunity since it is creating a platform which enables the interaction with the university students. Nevertheless, most organizations envision one major objective that is, getting young contributors to the organization while fulfilling their need by successfully completing the project.

Keeping this hope in mind, the organizations invest considerably enormous effort on these students. Sometimes the mentor may take less time if it is done by himsel, but training a newbie is worthy. Mentors who were into this program earlier, may have noticed that much portion of the students get vanished once the program is over, being exact once they received their final payment. Some remains as contributors and they start vanishing after few months and few stays with the organization and become key players.

The challenge in front of the organizations is to increase the portion of few students that are contributing long term. In Students Application Review Process (SARP), most of the mentors are much interested in the students’ competencies rather than the students’ reliability. The highest demand makes the selection much more difficult. At the same time if they are more projects than the available slots then there is a new problem to rank the projects to match with the available slots. The important projects should be get done and those would be first in the list.

SARP is a three-dimensional process where the importance of the project, students long term contribution and student’s competencies are considered and evaluated. Neither factor cannot be disregarded since each of them are really important for organizations due to small number of slots that organizations are receiving due to high demand for the program. Obviously this is not a simple task for an organization that has a high demand or organization that manages more slots. The selection should be optimal, select the student who can finish the project and who stays with the organization and be a part of that.

Many organizations ask students to fix bugs, write small code segments and so on to elaborate their knowledge. What can be used to measure their reliability? The degree of the accuracy of the method? Questions need answers.

Therefore the challenge ahead is to find ensuring evaluation methods which both implementation of the project and the long term contribution of the students can be earned and ensured in order to get the maximum benefit of the GSoC program and the effort investing by the contributors.


One thought on “Org perspective on Google Summer of Coding – Part 1

  1. I haven’t really looked at the GSoC guidelines, but

    May be one should look for people/students who have shown a previous interest/track record with contributions to open source projects.

    i.e Rather than aiming for people who are fresh to Open source, look for people who have already worked on same or related open source projects, that potentially shows that those people are really interested in the given project or domain.

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