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Student and the Google Summer of Code: What is Next?

The list of accepted students to the Google Summer of Code will be published very soon. If you are on that list, important information below. But first a word for those who are not on the list.

Not on the list

Thank you for your effort. There were a lot of excellent applications. Unfortunately resources are limited, hard choices had to be made and many good applications had to be rejected. It’s the application, not you! The rejection is based on a number of criteria, many of which you could not influence. These include the availability of mentoring resources specific to your proposal; the importance of the proposed work for the community; the number of sponsorships allocated to the community.

What’s next? You are probably disappointed now. Take the time you need to come to terms with the outcome and clear your mind. Then look forward.

  • What have you learned from this experience?
  • What can you do better next time you write an application (for a grant, for a job, or for an hypothetical future edition fo the Summer of Code)?
  • What can you do to improve your chances in the community next time if another opportunity arises?

You are still welcome and we’ll happily help you integrate our community like we help any person new to our community. I’d reccomend you read the advice for accepted students, you may find opportunities there. Last year, one of our students that was not on the list initially got on it 24 hours before coding began.

On the list

Feeling lucky? you deserved it. Take a day to enjoy the feeling. Then roll up your sleeves. You passed the first milestone and there are a few more ahead.

What’s next? You are taking up a new committment. The dates that were tentatively penciled in become fixed committments. You’re hired. Your work time is booked. Moreover, you may want to reschedule some of your free time to bond with the community until May 26. Hang around, participate, communicate, contribute.

In contrast to your work time, there is no obligation on your free time. You do what you can and want, like any other volunteer, which in our case means like every community contributor. While there is no obligation, I strongly advice you to at least do the following:

  • Establish a relationship with your assigned mentor. How will you want to work together?
  • Communicate what can be expected of you. What are your current committment? How much time can you volunteer to the community in the coming four weeks? What do you intend to do in that time?
  • Communicate with the community at large. Blend in.

If you want to really impress, one additional patch to the code against a bug in the bug tracker would be awesome.

We believe we made a good choice, and we hope you believe the same. We are still getting to know each other and while unlikely it is still possible for you to desist or for your mentors to change their minds before May 26. Last year we replaced one student 48 hours before coding began. To avoid this, the recipe is simple: join the community. Hang around, participate, communicate, contribute. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Manage expectations.

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