I did some research, analysis, and reporting recently about the Fedora Project and (later) JBoss.org participation in Google’s Summer of Code project. I’ve done various parts in our GSoC effort since 2006, the second year we participated, and the last two summers I’ve been focusing on strategic work for our overall summer coding efforts while working as an administrator.
Up to now, I was going off my instinct that it was a worthwhile way to spend my time. In fact, until this last year, it really hasn’t been in my job role in anyway, just something I did because. Now, as part of the Community Architecture team, my job is to think and act strategically. Last few summers I put a lot of initial work in to attracting mentors and project ideas, with good results in 2008 that were largely repeated in 2009.
Based on the results to date, it’s clearly worth the time and effort. In fact, it’s clear that with more of a focus on being an efficient umbrella organization, we can have possibly more students, working on more useful, interesting, and ultimately successful/useful projects. If this translates to additional upstream efforts such as what has gone on before, this is a good benefit to the wider open communities.
I’m calling together a meeting on #fedora-meeting-1 sometime in the next few days, with some specific invites out to Toshio, Yaakov, and Sankarshan. The former two were at the Mentor Summit a few weeks ago and came to camp out at my place on a nice October night. That’s when we kicked off the idea that we needed to really step-up our efforts to be a better umbrella organization. Sankarshan has been a mentor and mentor’s-mentor for a number of GSoC years; I think he has provided the most and very useful feedback to student proposals of any other mentor.
If you are interested in helping with this larger effort, let me know.