June 20, 2012

Not your gsoc project

Thanks to Google, for some years now there has been the so-called Google Summer of Code programme. Quite an interesting project it is.

However, how many of the slots assigned to Debian have resulted in successful projects? how many of them were actually completed by the student and not by the mentor or somebody else? are those projects in fact used or useful at all?

All these questions occurred to me while wondering what would have happened if Joey Hess' git-annex-related kickstarter project had instead been a GSOC project. His kickstart was very successful by the way. Joey: many congratulations!

Not trying to point my finger to the (IMHO many) failed or unsuccessful Debian-related gsoc projects, but I wonder how many successful projects are developed outside the get-paid-in-exchange model. I suspect most, at least in Debian.

What's done for those who actually "deliver" while working on projects as a hobby? is it really worth having GSOC slots for Debian?


  1. Even if one feels that we haven't got value out of GSOC, and I'm not sure whether we have or not, it might not be because the payment model is broken. Perhaps the mentoring is?

  2. Hi Raphaël,
    These are good questions. Unfortunately, it's not just the students who have variable reliability, our administration also does. There is little information on GSoC projects results and it's hard to say how students do. There was one report on the 2010 edition: https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2010/09/msg00007.html