3 Best Practices for Acceptance into GSoC, by Isaac Kamga

The deadline for submission of proposals to the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is fast approaching as reported earlier on TechCrunch Africa. In a dialogue with , a multiple time participant into the Google Summer of Code both program, both as an intern and as a Mentor, he offers us some well-crafted advice on how to get accepted into Google Summer of Code program.

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an online, international program designed to encourage university student participation in open source software development. Google offers accepted students a total stipend of $5500.

Deadline for submission of proposals: 25th March 2016

Isaac Kamga is a graduate of a University, the University of Buea with a Masters of Computer Science. He is an excellent Computer Programmer and a disciplined coder. He has huge experience writing tons of code for BRL-CAD, an open source solid modeling platform, where he also mentors young people across the globe who pursue a career in programming. Isaac has had a huge influence in shaping the Silicon Mountain community and he contributed immensely in helping ten (10) students to be accepted into the 2015 edition of Google Summer of Code (highest number ever from Africa). He is also the Country Mentor at Google Developers Group Cameroon. It makes pretty good sense taking advice from him in matters concerning GSoC.

Here are the 3 best practices offered by Isaac Kamga on how to get your proposal accepted into the edition.

1. The Technical solution/ algorithm to the problem.

This should be as detailed as possible and should be reviewed by peers. It should have been discussed with Mentors and, at least, one organization administrator.

2. Project Timeline.

Start your timeline from March – stating what you’ve achieved already before the submission deadline, Another period from March 25 to April 22 ( say you’ll be working on a patch or pull request ), The Community Bonding Period ( From selection to Coding ).
A. Breakdown your entire project goal into at least 6 deliverables. 3 deliverables should be finished during the Pre-Midterm Evaluation Period and the last 3 deliverables during the Post Midterm Evaluation Period.
B. Next, make sure that during the 12 weeks of Coding GSoC, each deliverable takes 2 weeks to finish.
C. Also, don’t forget to mention your time availability. Don’t give Mentors the impression you have much to do during the GSoC period. As a student, you should have only one commitment outside GSoC and that’s your studies (Exams and CAs).
D. Don’t forget to include the submission of your code to Google before final Evaluations in the Post Midterm Evaluation period. A new requirement for this year.

3. Social Side.

Your Mentors want to be sure they’re not going to working with a monster. So let them know more about you.
A. Tell them why you love their organization/project.
B. Tell why you should be the one selected. A newbie who’s never done GSoC should say they want to use GSoC 2016 to get introduced to open source development. Past GSoCers definitely have much more to prove. Say you intend to continue contributing to the project after GSoC – this should reflect in your timeline. Girls, say that you’re a girl who’s part of the Women Techmakers community and would love to, later on, encourage other girls to contribute to the project.
C. Be awesome and very impressive. Before asking any mentor to review your proposal, make sure you’ve added value to it.

Take a look at a good proposal www.brlcad.org/wiki/User:Izak and other proposals herehttp://brlcad.org/wiki/Google_Summer_of_Code/2013
This proposal can help you do 1, 2 and 3 above.

Focus on writing at most 2 proposals in one organization. A student who drops 2 good proposals to one organization would have shown quality and have increased chances to be selected. If you can do more like a veteran, then more grease to your elbows.

Now that you’ve gotten great advice from an expert and a GSoC veteran, go do three things:

  1. Submit a proposal
  2. Code
  3. Get paid $5500


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