Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Prepping for the Summer of Code

So, it was announced today that Dojo will be part of the Google Summer of Code in 2008. w00t! For students, you get a modest amount of fortune (US$4500) and some degree of fame (TBA), and Dojo gets your nice shiny code. This is our third year and the second time I've been involved. Looking at the quality of some of the applications that didn't make it this year, I'm a little scared that we only just scraped in.

Since the programme was announced on 25 February, we've achieved quite a bit, so I thought I'd jot it down:

  • Figured out who's organising it: me, since I volunteered again ;)

  • Thought about what was good and bad from 2007 and 2006 and what we'd change

  • Write up a pile of documentation:
  • Created our project ideas list - basically we need to list some projects we think are both interesting and achievable by a new student in a couple of months. This involved a huge brain dump from me, followed by trying to herd our contributors into reviewing it and adding their own ideas, notes, and corrections. We've got some pretty good stuff down, but I know there's more great ideas out there still.

  • Posted to the blog and our mailing lists looking for mentors and more ideas. We're trying to get 2 mentors per student this year, with one from the "core" Dojo team and someone else from the Dojo community who wants to get more involved - we have a lot of smart & talented people and we want to pull them closer.

  • Answered a pile of emails, forum posts, IRC, and IM conversations with students and potential mentors.

  • Wrote our application to Google. Only 175 out of 505 organisations have been accepted, so it needed to be good.

  • Wrote a coding test - shamelessly ripping off the idea from my good friends at SilverStripe we decided that our students should do something practical as part of their application too. Still some more tweaking to do there too.
That took until this morning. Phew. What's next?
  • Start matching enquiries to mentors
  • Hassle some more of the core committers to get involved
  • Figure out how we're going to deal with version control & ticketing for the SoC projects
  • Sketch out our mentor 'teams' and fill in any gaps
  • Decide how many projects we can handle
  • Keep on top of the emails and other enquiries
Student applications start flowing in on the 24th, then they need to be reviewed and voted on by the 11th. Then I can relax for a bit (unless I end up mentoring a project as well) and just make sure everyone is communicating and making progress. Until evaluation-time.