This is a proposal to add an evaluation step to the current process of selecting students for GSoC.
The current process
The current guidelines exist at http://dev.xwiki.org/xwiki/bin/view/GoogleSummerOfCode/Guidelines.
These guidelines (mostly linked from one page to another) go through the following series of steps.
- Running and using XWiki
- Following the onboarding guidelines at dev.xwiki.org
- Creating and solving issues in jira
- Contributing code to XWiki through pull requests
- Writing and submitting a proposal
On a higher level.
This approach is good but it can be improved by adding another step for a better direction for students and an easier evaluation for the mentors.
Addition of another evaluation step
The step to be included is about project related exercises and tasks.
Exercises and tasks
After going through the onboarding guidelines, instead of jumping straight into solving issues on jira, students will be required to complete a series of tasks or exercises to qualify for the project. These tasks will serve as a starting point for implementing the actual project. Having the students work on these will help them understand the kind of work they will be doing through GSoC and will also help mentors in evaluating them to see if they are a fit even if they did not contribute any code to some XWiki project.
The nature of these tasks will depend upon the project and the mentor. There could be multiple tasks each with its own set of steps to give the student a high level idea on how to do the task and where to look for relevant resources.
Example project and task
Suppose an “Advanced FAQ Application” is proposed by one of the mentors. The tasks for this project will be.
- Get familiar with XClasses and XObjects. Create sample XClasses for questions and answers. (see guide)
- Understand the concept of templates and sheets in XWiki and create a template and sheet for the question part. (see guide)
Grade for tasks
For checking the compatibility of this new step. We can have a grade for tasks added to the overall grade. And later make the step mandatory for student consideration.
This new step could help in.
- Filtering the proposals
- Having only capable students considered for the projects
- Less mentoring effort after the project starts (since the student is somewhat familiar with the process at this point)
- A definite direction for new students (since they know exactly what to do now)
- An easier and definitive evaluation for selection
- It could prove difficult for mentors to think out the tasks
- Requires more effort from mentors in the initial GSoC phase
The new process
So the students onboarding and selection process will be updated to.
- Project task(s)