Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Summer of Code Mentor Summit

This weekend Nik Clayton and I represented FreeBSD at the Summer of Code mentor summit. This is an all day event that brings together mentors from the 100+ open source organizations that participated in the Google sponsored Summer of Code. We got together to share tips and talk about mentoring, code review, education, communities, and most of all -- helping the students have a successful summer.

I really liked learning about how the Silverstripe CMS mentors put together a short online PHP test to assess the practical skills of the applicants to enable them to ensure that they selected the students for funding that would most likely be able to succeed with their projects. I also liked how they setup a personalized web page with a picture for each student to provide more exposure to the student's work. We also talked a lot with the NetBSD guys, particularly David Maxwell and Brian ??, about cooperating more next year and maybe co-mentoring a student project that would be particularly useful to both FreeBSD and NetBSD (USB improvements were mentioned as one possibility).

If you haven't seen it yet, I posted an extensive summary of all the successful FreeBSD projects from this year. There is also a shorter blog post that highlights just a few of the FreeBSD projects on the Google Summer of Code Blog. Google hasn't officially confirmed that the program will run again next year, but it is widely expected to, and so we've begun updating our ideas page for example student projects.