The Google Summer of Code program can be a stepping stone into greatness for many young talented minds out there. The opportunity to work with, collaborate, and interact with the best technical minds of the industry at such a young age provides students with an unparalleled experience! The chance to work on projects that are actually being deployed in the real world, with open source communities all around the globe, provides an incredible platform for students to showcase and improve their skills.
Getting accepted into the Google Summer of Code program isn’t a piece of cake, by any means. Many will tell you what to do in order to get in; we tell you what to avoid, both while applying, and once you get accepted. Here are 6 mistakes you cannot afford to make!
- Lethargic submissions of application
The GSoC applications have a specified format that must be strictly adhered to. If your application seems like a Ctrl C- Ctrl V job isn’t simple enough to understand or does not comply with the general format of the application, then it can cause a perfectly avoidable delay in submitting your application. Be sure to follow each step of the guidelines carefully, and you should be good to go!
- Never make a bad first impression, neither in GSoC nor in life!
Initial communication in the GSoC program requires students to interact with the organization they are looking to work with, and also fill the application form, as stated above. Please refrain from anything that might damage your reputation, such as using SMS English in your emails or official communication, using poorly structured language, being rude, or simply being hostile. Programming skills aren’t all that matter, communication skills do, too!
Once you get in…
- Don’t hold another major commitment
The GSoC program takes up most of your time in the summer vacation. Therefore, if you have any other commitments to take care of, please inform your project mentors about the same beforehand. If something can be worked out, they will surely do it. It is highly recommended, however, that students do not join any classes or jobs that take up more than 5-6 hours of their week. This will result in not being able to put inadequate time for the GSoC program.
- Submit code too late
Students, at such a large platform, often get nervous or anxious while submitting their code, and end up waiting until the last moment. While the anxiety is understandable, last-minute code submission causes problems at the other end. It leaves almost no time for the project mentor to review the code, and subsequently, it almost never ends up getting to see the light of day. Be punctual, both in life and in code!
- Failing to realize that you’re a part of the community!
GSoC is not a solo project, neither is it a 2 or 3 man job. Surely, you code yourself, but your mentor helps you solve problems and fix your code, as do other people. You are part of a greater community coming together to contribute something meaningful to a project. Don’t think that you’re working only with your mentor; the community will include other members who are working on the same code as you, and coding improvements on the fly. Therefore, a team attitude is the way to go!
- Refusing to ask for help
This can be a grave mistake for students! Problems and errors are encountered in all walks of life, and coding is no different. You might come across errors that seem to have no fix, bugs that simply can’t be removed. Don’t fret; your project mentor is there to guide you through the entire process! Never be afraid to ask for help. Never be too haughty to ask for help! You’ll find that the problem that you could’ve spent days to solve, was solved in an hour just by talking to your team!
The Google Summer of Code is surely a wonderful opportunity for all budding techies out there. While you may already know what to do, we thought we’d update you with what not to! Make sure to keep the aforementioned in mind, and most importantly, have fun while coding! Should you feel the need to upskill yourself, be sure to check out the courses offered by Coding Ninjas.
To learn more about coding competitions and how to get ready for them, click here.