Striving for greatness

Thoughts on emerging tech, open source, and life

The DOs and DON’Ts of Google Summer of Code: Student Edition

I’d like to point any potential Google Summer of Code applicants to a post on DOs and DON’Ts for students over on the Google Open Source blog that I wrote with Lydia Pintscher and Kevin Smith. They’re fellow admins from two other long-time GSoC participants, KDE and the XMPP Standards Foundation. Here’s a quick summary of the points; you’ll have to read the original post for details:

Be on your best behavior. Make a bad first impression: SMS speech, extremely poor English, rudeness/hostility, etc.
Read all the documentation, so you submit a useful application. Submit a useless application.
Be transparent about other commitments. Disappear.
Make Google Summer of Code your top priority. Hold another major commitment.
Be realistic about your skills. Over- or under-rate your abilities.
Commit and publicize your code frequently. Make last-minute (or later) code drops.
Submit code that’s ready to integrate. Finish the summer with code that’s “almost ready” but will take forever to ship.
Complete your project design before writing a line of code. Start coding before finalizing design.
Use your resources wisely. Refuse to ask for help.
Remember that you’re part of a community. Consider it a solo project, like it often is in college.

Written by Donnie Berkholz

March 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Posted in Blog

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2 Responses

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  1. What I can find problematic: many people don’t have English as their mother language (neither me). If someone speaks English … well let’s say “not so well” … it’s still not a reason to judge if he can create something really useful for the community though …


    March 28, 2011 at 7:35 am

    • In case you didn’t read the original post, I want to point out that we specifically recommend using spell-checkers and grammar-checkers.

      English so poor that you can’t communicate effectively with other project members creates serious problems. If you can at least get your point across without confusion, you’ll be able to get by.

      Donnie Berkholz

      March 28, 2011 at 8:16 am

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