Google Summer of Code FAQ

From OPeNDAP Documentation

1 How do I apply to GSoC with OPeNDAP as my mentoring organization?

Google has enabled a web application that students must use to submit their project proposals. All the gory details (and instructions) can be found in the GSoQ FAQ. In a nutshell, students have to (1) create a profile, providing some personal information and (2) write the actual project proposal.

2 Should I discuss my project idea with a OPeNDAP mentor before submitting an application?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Discussing your project idea with a mentor is not strictly required, but we strongly encourage you to do so (even if you are proposing one of the projects in our ideas list). Discussing your project with a prospective mentor makes it more likely that a mentor will agree to take on the project, since it gives the mentor a better sense of what you intend to accomplish and that your project proposal is aligned with the mentor's interests.

3 What should my application look like it?

We have provided an application template which you will have to fill out if you propose a project with us. The online application asks for pretty basic information. We'd also like to know:

  1. Have you contacted a mentor about this project proposal? If so, who?
  2. What languages, libraries, toolkits, etc. will you use for this project? If part of the project will require researching technologies to decide which one is better suited, just say so (do mention what technologies you will be looking at, if you already know this)
  3. What would be the main deliverable(s) for your project? Please include a rough timeline for these deliverables. We are not asking you to commit to specific dates right now, and you can certainly tweak the deliverables later on (in fact, we expect you will do so as you interact more with your mentor and the community). However, please give us an approximate idea of what you expect to produce throughout the summer.
  4. What are your qualifications for this project? Please let us know what previous experience you have with the technologies you listed in question (3). Take into account that having limited knowledge with our software does not disqualify you from participating; GSoC is as much about learning as it is about writing code, and you will have until the summer to get up to speed.
  5. If you have little or no experience with any technology involved in your project, will you be able to use the "Community Bonding Period" (April 20 - May 23) to get up to speed?
  6. Will you have any other commitments during the summer? In particular, let us know if your school year ends later than May 23 (i.e., if you will still be doing final exams when GSoC starts) and if you are already committed to another job (an internship, a teaching/research assistantship at your university, etc.). This does not disqualify you from participating but you have to be upfront about how much time you'll be able to spend on your GSoC project.
  7. If you want to provide any additional details about your project, please don't hesitate

We would like to work with every interested student, but Google only assigns a limited number of slots to each organization, so the application is important.

4 Who decides what projects get accepted?

Google will allocate a number of student slots for us, but does not evaluate the merits of the applications (this is left entirely up to OPeNDAP). More specifically, the mentors will be involved in evaluating the proposals and deciding how to fill the slots allocated by Google.

Take into account that, before the proposals are even evaluated, mentors have to indicate that they are willing to mentor a project and, if no mentor is willing to do this, the project proposal with be rejected. As noted above, this is why it is important that you discuss your project proposals with a mentor first.

5 What happens if more than one student submits a proposal for the same project?

Google has no rules against assigning the same project idea to more than one student. However, in practice, mentors will probably prefer having a variety of projects, so it is unlikely that they will accept more than two students to the same project. If you submit a proposal for a very popular project, this means you will have to compete with other students for that slot. You will have more chances of being accepted if you...

  • Submit a project proposal taken from the ideas page, but discuss it previously with a mentor (that way, the mentor can tell you if there is competition for the project and, if so, steer you in the direction of other projects)
  • Submit a completely original idea (but make sure you discuss it with a mentor first)