Code this Summer with Google {GSOC}

by Pratishtha Sharma | Jan 23, 2018

Code this Summer with Google {GSOC}

Opportunity for young student developers to be the part of Google Summer of Code ’18 is here.

“Google Summer of Code”, often clipped as “GSoc”, is a global open source coding program. Its agenda is to bring more and more student developers under the roof of open source software development.

To help and prepare students for GSoC 2018, Youstart Labs organized a meetup at Jaipur on 7th of January 2018.

This meetup provided a platform for the aspiring students to interact with Mentors at Google Summer of Code and previously selected students for Google Summer of Code.

The event was a great success with the sole purpose of creating awareness among students to start contributing to the open-source communities such as The Linux Foundation, The OpenStack Foundation, The Binary Times, Sugar Labs, etc and being a part of GSoC coding project during the summer.

It was marked by the presence of aspiring students from engineering colleges MNIT, SKIT, JECRC College, IIIT Kota, BIT Mesra and the speakers who themselves have been contributing to open source with Google Summer of Code. The purpose of the meetup was fulfilled to a great extent with the enthusiasm of the students and veterans, who were equally excited about the event.

The students from the Computer Society of India Student Chapter at LNMIITTayba Wasim, Vishwesh Jainkuniya, and Sumit Madhwani, who all are also a part of Google Summer of Code, 2017 community, were the invited speakers to share their experiences on the work in the open source software development community and to fortify the students for putting their best into it.

A brief introduction to the speakers is as follows:

Tayba Wasim, Vice-Chairperson of CSI Student Chapter at LNMIIT, has completed GSoc 2017 at Sugar Labs. She is an undergraduate student, of Computer Science and Engineering at The LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur. Being intrigued by the world of open source, she became a part of GSoc’17 as a participant at Sugar Labs. She worked on the project “Timbre Widget for Music Blocks”, which is the collection of some tools for exploring a musical concept in an integrative and fun way. Passionate and focused on her work, she has also worked on some other projects such as data visualization, assembler design, Wallet- web-based application and many more.

Vishwesh Jainkuniya – A polyglot of many programming languages like C++, Python, Javascript, Django, React Native, etc and Android development lead at CSI, has been a part of GSoc’17 at Zulip, currently pursuing Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering from The LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur. He has also been sub-cordinator at Cybros for LNMIIT. He has taken his hands-on projects such as:- LiveUnite- to unite with nearby people with FB login, Mr. hot- for online food ordering, Central Medic Care – Hospital administration system, college plus- reminders for events, etc.

Sumit Madhwani – GSoc 2017 at Kivy (Python Software Foundation), where his work was to design and implement cross-platform APIs for the sister project of Kivy, Plyer. He is also a student of The LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur. He has been a mentor at JBoss for Google Code-in’17, where his task is to provide mentorship to students participating in Google Code-in’17. His other accomplishments are like the icing on the cake which includes Artificial Intelligence, Data Structure, Operating System, Discrete mathematics, etc along with this he has his hands on Shell scripting, LaTeX, MySQL, Github, API Development.

The event kicked off with an introduction to Vishwesh Jainkuniya’s project at Zulip, a proposal for improving, enhance React native app.

Students got a great insight from these speakers who had shed some light on various topics regarding GSoC, such as:

# Timeline and skills required for the program: As the speakers had said “for being a part of 3 month coding period in a global event like GSoC the most important thing is your hard work along with the willingness to learn new things. If you have the skill then GSoC is for you”.

Shedding some light on the nuts and bolts of GSoC and the rules of the programs, they told the students that after the application is filled, students get to discuss their project ideas with the accepted mentors and submit their proposals. Within few days of submitting the proposals, organizations pick the exquisite proposal and pair the students with the mentors and after thorough research students started working on their projects keeping in mind their responsibilities. (For more information about the GSoC timeline click here)

# Code update and submission, Evaluation of completed project:Explaining it further they shared that mentors and students submit their evaluations of one another, students submit their code, project summaries and final evaluationsto their mentors who then review it and determine if they have successfully completed it or not.

# Importance of open source organizations: Giving an instance from their experiences they said that it is providing you with a free environment to work on. It has more support options and it is providing you with a free platform to showcase your coding power, working in a group with other people in open source is not only boosting up your communication but is also improving your capabilities to work in a team.

# Selection of organizations: “Strong foundation is a necessity for success”. Select the organizations wisely. Tagging one thing with other is being hyped nowadays, similarly, the projects are tagged with platforms, programming languages, and applications. Use this tag filter to search for the organization and of course Google them, their mission, its size and anything that influence your interest. In the end, you’ll find the one that you would be ecstatic to be a part of. Some of the previous organizations are Zulip, JBoss, Ruby, Saros, Sugar Labs, etc

# Role of communication and how to communicate in a better way:Communication is most crucial for any organization or for the success of any program because you should know to sell your product for it being a success. Two-way communications ensure well being of the organization. With a new advancement in technology every day, more and more platforms to communicate and that too formally, are emerging such as IRC, slack channels, Trello, etc. so why wait for the mentor to come and give you the solution when you can just ping him whatever problem you are facing.

# How open-source helps in career and getting jobs: Though it is not paying you for working on it it is enhancing your skills. Open-source development is like an add-on in your CV. People may lie but your code will speak for you which will help you in getting a nice job. So indirectly along with enhancing your capabilities, it is helping you grab a job.

# Why and how to contribute towards open-source: Everything comes with a reason and results, so does the open source development. It helps you to improve your existing skills, working with others on open source would not only improve your learning skills but also the teaching skills as you’ll have to explain how you did things.

Sometimes we know the destination but do not know how to reach there. If you are confused in how to contribute towards open-source then the easiest way is to provide helpful bug reports. Then the other thing that comes to our mind is coding- the most obvious thing, documentation is also a platform to contribute to. Not only this, you can also start working on any existing project that strikes your interest. Just download the code from GitHub make the changes that you feel are better for it, push the changes in GitHub again and you are done. All you need to do is get up, set up and show up to the work.

# Sample proposal:

Taiba Wasim’s proposal For Sugar Labs

Sumit MAdhani’s proposal For Kivy, Plyer

For more same proposals click here: Project proposals for 2017

# Some of the useful links are provided below to help students out:

The meetup had a successful closing for the purpose of organizing this event was surely fulfilled. The students were fortified to contribute towards open-source and being a part of GSoC’18.