Google Code In: Are We Interested, Able?

Greetings, Plonistas!

Google has announced the timeline for this year's Google Code In. Organizations can begin to apply starting October 9th.

The GCI is a program--like the Summer of Code--intended to encourage OSS participation. This program is aimed at younger developers between 13 and 17 years old.

To participate, an organization has to have a list of "tasks" students can pick up and accomplish. Each task should be something that would take approximately 3-5 hours of time to do. Tasks can be bug fixes in code, writing documentation, research or outreach, quality assurance, or user interface related. The GCI website has a nice page with examples from each category. Students pick tasks to do, work on them with the help of mentors from within the community, and have the chance to win prizes! Organizations have the obligation to provide mentorship and get the opportunity to pick "finalists" from within the pool of students who complete their tasks.

From reading the posts on the Google mentor email list, it seems that the job of mentoring this is a more intensive one than mentoring for the GSoC. These students are younger, much less able to work independently, and much more in need of direct and frequent assistance than the older students of GSoC.

I've gotten a few questions from the community about Plone participating in the GCI. I'd like to gauge the interest out there. So here are my questions:

  • Do we have a list of simple tasks that could be tagged for GCI and a way to list them so that students can find something to do?
  • Do we have a pool of community members who are interested in mentoring a young teenager in accomplishing a task?
  • Can we assign at least a pair of mentors to each task we have so that students have a direct line of communication to the "right person" to help them get their job done?

Let's talk about this here. If you have thoughts or ideas, reply to this post. We can see if Plone might be able to be part of this nifty event.



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Hi @cewing,

I think that this might be a good opertunity to reach out to students that whant to learn about web. Catch them early is a chance.

We could easyly produce a huge bunch of easy to moderate tasks:
looking into exampels of other orgs, doing a short 3-5 minute youtube video about a specific feature of Plone or an add on. Test compatibility of an collective addon and update trove classifiers. Add tox with lint sections or code-analysis and fix coding convention warnings. And there are a lot of other task to do for young beginners.

There is a lot to do, that those students could do. And if you handle it like a class, so don't do individual hangouts, mentoring, but group meetings the time necessary to supervise those teenagers could be limited.

I would be willing to help and mentor / supervise a group.


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Firstly, I'm on board for this. We could have a birds of a feather discussion on this at the conference.
I took at look at the sample tasks. They aren't all code related, some of the tasks are research and documentation related.

My thoughts.


This might be a good opportunity for a project researching the best name for a new feature like "fat themes".


The Youtube videos mentioned by @loechel are a good example of documentation. BTW... doing a video right takes time, maybe 2 to 3 hours for every 5 minutes. The gold standard for tech videos IMHO is firecasts see:


Create robot tests for an add-on (e.g. @smcmahon just mentioned that he'd appreciate robot tests for collective.ambidexterity).

These are all great ideas. I'm hopeful that we can get more interest in the topic in general. While talking it over at PloneConf is a good idea, the deadline for applications is pretty close. We can apply starting Oct. 9 and they announce selected orgs on Oct. 26. Assuming they want some time to select orgs, that would mean that we'd need to get that conversation done by the first day of the conference.

We'll also need to have more significant uptake than just two mentors. This is a more intensive job, by all accounts, and I really wouldn't want us involved unless we can provide solid, enthusiastic, and available mentoring.