How to Choose a Google Summer of Code Student

How to Choose a Google Summer of Code Student


[twinkling music] Downey: Choosing talented,
qualified, and motivated
students is crucial for successful
project completion. Di Leo: Mentoring takes a lot
of time and effort. Morrison: So choosing a student
who is motivated, excited to learn and willing to push
themselves results in a much better
experience for the student, the mentor, and the community. Abbott: The student’s proposal
is only a small part of the process. Di Leo: The attitude, the
ability to follow directions, and the level of
commitment–all this can be verified ahead of the project
proposal submission. Downey: So get in touch via
Hangouts and perform a general interview. Abbott: Test your student
before you select them. Morrison: This could be
challenging them with a small programming task,
bug fix. Di Leo: It helps them become
familiar with the dev environment and helps mentors gauge their
capabilities. Downey: For each idea, you may
wish to have a different coding task that reflects those specific
skills needed. Abbott: Ensure that your
potential student is committed to spending the
entire summer on GSoC. Gichoya: The student should not be
on any other internship, part-time job, summer school,
weddings, vacations, hiking Machu Picchu. Morrison: Ask about every
possible conflict you can think of. Gichoya: Your project idea
should be clearly labeled with a difficulty ranking. Downey: Having clear,
well-defined project ideas for student applicants to
review and discuss with you before and during the
application period is key for setting expectations
on the difficulty of a project. Di Leo: Consider if your
student is fully up to the challenge. Downey: Should the project be
de-scoped or simplified for the right student? Pre-plan which parts of the
projects might be extra credit. Abbott: Splitting the work into
smaller tasks and clear deliverables makes progress easier for both the student and the
mentor to track. Dang: We are all human and all
humans are different. Take some time to talk to your
student before you make any decisions. Di Leo: Pairing the best mentor
with the student is vital to a
successful student project. Abbott: You should turn down a
student slot if you don’t have a solid,
qualified, and suitable
candidate. Downey: Don’t set the student
up for failure because you want the project to
be completed, even though the student might
not be a good match. That only makes everyone
miserable. Gichoya: The mentor must have
knowledge and some level of expertise on
the work the student is expected to
complete during the summer. Dang: It’s perfectly normal to
have one core mentor or even two for areas outside
of your expertise. Downey: As for the technical
skills, consider requesting a
successful patch or a pull request submission to evaluate the proposal, regardless of the student
credentials and qualifications. Abbott: Be sure to have a bunch
of newbie-friendly issues in your queue, and keep that
list full throughout the application
period. It’s easy to run out.

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