GNOME offers an easy to understand desktop and applications for your GNU/Linux computer.
Why is your organization applying to participate in Google Summer of Code 2014? What do you hope to gain by participating?*
We would like to help students gain a good understanding and appreciate the value of working on FOSS by participating in an active community such as ours. We would like to encourage students to become long term contributing community members. Many active members of our community were at one time GSoC students.
How many potential mentors do you have for this year's program? What criteria did you use to select them?*
We have about 40 mentors and there are many more community members who can step up to be mentors given student's interest in their project. Our mentors and administrators are drawn from active developers and project maintainers in the GNOME community. Many of those that will be mentors have served as such before or been GSoC students themselves. Our team of administrators has now several years of experience administrating our participation in GSoC and includes one former GSoC student.
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing students?*
To keep an eye on the progress of our GSoC students, we ask them to write blog posts about their work at least every two weeks. We check on them periodically, keep track of the results, and contact students missing blog posts. We would check in with the student's mentor if we don't hear back within a couple days from a student missing a blog post. In addition, we ask mentors to have at least weekly check-ins with their students, and report any problems early. We would make sure that the students know that they can let us know of any issues in their personal life, and problems with the project or the mentor, and we will try to help address them.
What is your plan for dealing with disappearing mentors?*
If we are contacted by a student complaining of a unresponsive mentor or find that to be the case based on the student's blog post or lack thereof, we will contact the mentor and see if there's been a misunderstanding. In the event of a truly AWOL mentor, we will find a suitable replacement from the community or one of the administrators will take over. This was actually the case in 2009, where we quickly found another mentor and the student could successfully finish his project.
What steps will you take to encourage students to interact with your project's community before and during the program?*
We are including contact info for mentors for each project idea on the ideas page. We also have mentors listed for many GNOME modules on our mentors page and explain how maintainers of other modules can be reached. We ask students to contact the mentor for the module they want to work on and, with their help, make a simple contribution to that module. We also encourage them to communicate in channels on IRC and seek support from other community members in the channel. Mentor's experience with the student and student's ability to make a simple contribution will help us assess if the student is willing to learn and able to dive into the proposed work. During the program, we help students get integrated with the community by requiring them to blog and aggregating their blogs on Planet GNOME, which gives visibility to their work and invites community feedback. We also bring students to our summer conference GUADEC and other relevant events. At GUADEC, we provide students with the yearbook, organize activities for them to help them meet each other and community members, and host a lightning talks session in which they present their work.
What will you do to encourage that your accepted students stick with the project after Google Summer of Code concludes?*
After the program, mentors' help will continue to be available to students and they will be encouraged to continue contributing. GNOME has releases in September and March. September release provides great motivation for students to land their work on time and includes work of a majority of GSoC students. Sometimes, students who miss the September release are motivated to complete their work for the March release. Students' blogs will remain aggregated on Planet GNOME until March, continuing to provide a broad audience for their FOSS endeavors. If they choose to become GNOME Foundation members after that, their blogs will stay on Planet GNOME.
If you chose "veteran" in the dropdown above, please summarize your involvement and the successes and challenges of your participation. Please also list your pass/fail rate for each year.
GNOME has participated every year Google has sponsored a Summer of Code, guiding 200 students to a successful completion of their GSoC out of 224 that have been accepted (89% completion rate). We help students get integrated with the community by requiring them to blog and aggregating their blogs on Planet GNOME, which gives visibility to their work and invites community feedback. We also bring students to our summer conference GUADEC and other relevant events. With the help from Google and the GNOME Foundation, 20 out of 32 GSoC students attended GUADEC 2013. We made sure they felt welcome and integrated by preparing a yearbook for them, having an interns' lunch the first day of the conference, and hosting a lightning talks session in which they presented their work. When in 2006 we realized that none of our applicants were women, we created Women's Summer Outreach Program to reach out to women with similar internship opportunities. We realized it has to be an ongoing effort and have since organized 7 more rounds of the Outreach Program for Women internships and expanded the program to other FOSS organizations. 5 women participated in GSoC with GNOME in 2013. Many of our GSoC students have continued their work on GNOME after completing GSoC, including 17 students who went on to become mentors or administrators for the program. Our weaknesses have been in accepting students to work on projects that are not central to GNOME, which are less likely to end up being merged, or accepting students who are later not able to complete the proposed project. We are working to avoid these situations by ensuring that projects are relevant and agreed-upon by the design team and maintainers, and that we pre-qualify all applicants by requiring a contribution to the module they are applying to work on and ensuring everyone works with a mentor during the application process.
Pass/fail rate for each year:
Is there anything else we should know or you'd like to tell us that doesn't fit anywhere else on the application?
Thank you for running GSoC! It would be a great privilege for GNOME to participate for the 10th time!