Getting into GSoC

May 3, 2017

Hello, this post is a brief description of what is GSoC and how I wrote my project proposal for GSoC

What exactly is GSoC?

GSoc stands for Google Summer of code. It is an annual programming event which encourages students at University level to contribute more to open source. A student gets many perks if he successfully completes his/her project including:

For more info, please visit GSoC’s official website

My experience with GSoC

After going rounds through the organisations list for GSoC and shortlisting them on the basis of how much do I fit in the requirements and lurking around in the IRC channel, chat room. Now, reading past messages in coala’s gitter room, I knew one thing for sure - people here are absolutely beginner friendly. Also, the documentation and management structure was so proper that it was easy to get started with and I almost completely fitted in the requirements section. So, I finally realised that I need to work with the coala community.

Initially, I did a beginner issue, which some minor change in the documentation. Since, I had been using unittest for a while, I tried to do something creative while porting from pytest to unittest. But the porting was objected upon and it did seem legit (Here’s the link). I tried to solve a couple of more issues. Review system is wonderful here. Now, since I was interested in the vulture project, I started exploring vulture. It took me around four to five hours of consolidation to get familiar with the code base. Then, I also started working on the project proposal, tried to have a big picture in my mind on how we could possibly implement the VultureBear. Jendrik - my mentor, creator and maintainer of vulture helped me immensely throughout the phase by giving his expert critique. Thank you @jendrik

Some of the college alumni and my friends helped me with finalising an initial draft. I made sure everything was in place and finally submitted it for feedback. Maintainers at coala are so awesome that they even managed proposal review system through which we could submit the link for the draft and they would give feedback within a day or two. After getting it reviewed a couple of times, I finally submitted a PDF a day before.

An incident which happened during the application phase:

It was just one day left for submitting the proposal and the proof of enrolment when I uploaded the proposal and the affidavit one of my professor had prepared (for proof of enrolment) and then went straight to bed. The next day was quite a long day at college and then I had a seminar to attend, so it was around 21:15 when I rang the doorbell. Now, for some reason, before having dinner I decided to open my laptop first and as soon as I open chrome, I see an email from John that you haven’t submitted a proof of enrolment yet. I was quite shocked and the clock rang 21:20 at the time. I suspect this was because of slow internet speed the day before. But anyways, I was able to upload it successfully on time (owe this to John).

I later come to see that John had literally messaged me everywhere he could to notify me about the scenario. (He emailed me, commented on the project proposal, messaged me on hangout, public coala channel and even PM’d me on gitter.)

A big thank you @jayvdb, I have no words to express my gratitude.

Some Remarks:

During the application phase, I was often distracted by a feeling of letting it go - I won’t be selected anyways. But people at coala are generous. ;P. On a more serious note, We should always believe in ourselves. If we think of ourselves as under qualified, or we still don’t know enough, this would only strengthen the procrastination and ultimately, we may not even apply. We should never miss an opportunity.

My mom helped me by believing in me. Thank You Mom

Thank you for reading along. I’ll be posting my project specific details in a seperate post.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the post containing relevant info on my project

Getting into GSoC - May 3, 2017 - Rahul Jha