GSoC improvement discussion minutes

Cedric Bosdonnat cbosdonnat at
Thu Oct 18 07:03:47 PDT 2012

Hi all,

Here are the notes I wrote from our discussion about how to improve our
GSoC processes. I may have missed some bits, feel free to amend it.

* Reduce risk at selection
    * Easy hacks
        * All on LibreOffice code, even for side projects
        * Not too easy (pick in the DifficultyInteresting ones)
        * Ask for an easy hack relevant to the task
    * Ask for recommendation from university / teachers ?
        * We don't know how to reach them
        * Teachers don't always know student's coding abilities (e.g. when studying maths)
    * Ask for student mobile phone number
        * We should reach them before the selection
            * make sure that it's no fake number
            * a first contact, could help to evaluate as well
        * Helps contacting the student when he doesn't appear on IRC / answer mails

* Lots of applications for some ideas
    * Show the number of applications on similar topics
        * To update somewhere on a wiki page? can't be done on melange
        * May lead some students to some projets motivating less
    * Discarding the students only looking for buzzwords can't be bad
    * Java is better known that C++

* How to reduce the risk of disapearing students
    * How to make better use of the community bounding period
        * Ask other orgs how they handle it
        * Don't hesite to fail a student if he doesn't show up
        * Start hacking small things for the projects during that time
        * School / exams are no excuse not to show up
    * Make sure communication with students is maintained
    * Use the phone number

* Mentoring challenges
    * How to deal with TimeZone differences between mentors/students
        * Nights are not for sleeping
        * Weekly IRC meeting at some convenient time
    * Some students don't work until the dead line
        * Merging code in master before mid-terms and final evals is good
    * Students often go into minor problems rather than important ones
        * Mentors needs to pay attention to that
    * 2 mentors, not 1 main and 1 fallback mentor
        * Dedicated channel for the 2 mentors to discuss things
        * Mentors discuss next steps together before the question arrives


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