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Tips for first time organizations in GSoC

on March 15, 2013

Many new projects are interested in taking part in GSoC program and I think of organizing some of my ideas hoping this would be helpful. Therefore following tips would be a good point to start thinking for new organizations who are applying for GSoC program for the first time.

Tips

  • First your organization need some people to manage this, dont take it easy these three months would be with heavy work and would be difficult than you think now. So you will need around 3 persons to manage it in Org Admin level and it is better to have two mentors per project at least.
  • It is important to maintain 100% pass rate. That means all the projects are completed successfully with in the stipulated time frame.
  • Focus on few no of projects (2 would be good – however new organizations are getting 2-4 no of slots in the program too) and make sure those projects are getting ended as expected.
  • Be cautious when selecting students, try to select the right students with right attitudes towards Free and Open Source Software and with right knowledge.
  • Discuss with mentors and create an evaluation process to select students for projects, in this point Org Admins and Mentors should have to have a good coordination. It is good to evaluate the students based on their past performances with FOSS projects, knowledge, communication skills, interest on the project idea and the organization and other attitudes which are important to work in a community and list grows….
  • Since this is the first year with GSoC, it is recommended to have some people who has the experience with GSoC in the team (may be there can be contributors with in the organization who has followed the program as students or mentors for other organizations in past)
  • Org Admin has a very dynamic role through out the period, it is good if Org Admins can stay touched with the ongoing projects and be proactive. Monitor the progress of the ongoing projects and make sure the students and mentors are having smooth communication.
  • Meet the deadline and be extra cautious about them. Mid-evaluations and final evaluation are miles stones to remember.
  • Be certain about the fact that “Why your organisation needs GSoC?”, some organizations need to get implemented some features, fix bugs, extend the product and some need to find potential contributors and some organizations requires both. Make sure to define what your organization is required out of above. However it is good to have a plan to get their support after the GSoC program as well.
  • Maintain an informative Wiki, most of the new organization just maintain an idea page, and that is all. But it is good to have more information from your side. Google provides vast set of information, but still it is good to have more info from your organization. Therefore try to maintain a very informative set of wiki pages explaining what kind of students your organization is looking for, about the mentors, future plans to keep students with the organization, if there is any extra reward for students from the organization, organization specific FAQs, template of the student application, a small getting start guide with links for more info and list grows…..
  • Blog everything, I found out blog posts are really important in many ways. Therefore try to blog and ask mentors to do so too. I would prefer students do the same after they started the project. This can be implemented as a condition so that each week students will blog what they have done. This is good artifact to follow the project with no effort.
  • Encourage the students to join with the groups inside the organization and build up connection with the community. This is important to get their contribution after the program concludes.
  • Let the development group in your organization know about the new students in advanced and ask them to help those students. Increase the awareness with in the organization so that new students wont face difficult situations.
  • Last but not least, plan for the worst and be ready.

There are more to write, I ll consider adding them to the next post. If you need any clarifications please comment.

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