Sunday, October 25, 2009

If you're going to Saaan Franciiiisco , to the Google Summer of Code Mentors Summit

So the first day of the Google Summer of Code mentors summit is done.

After arriving in San Francisco Thursday at noon and spending Thursday and Friday there -- blog post to come, with pics -- last night we arrived at the Sunnyvale hotel for today's mentors summit. We had a nice (well, tastes are discussable) thai food dinner and met some of the open source folks: John from the Ascend project and a Scottish guy (whose name I don't remember -- Jim?) from a language processing project.

Today we went to Google plex for the first day of the Mentors Summit, saw a bit of where Google people work, ate their food, drank their drinks and snacked their snacks. We've got the mentors yellow shirts -- I start to believe more and more that the whole purpose of this years GSoC was to make people wear ridiculous colors :) -- and had a short cool opening from Leslie Hawthorn and Chris DiBona after which we did the session proposing and scheduling.

Also in the bus this morning we socialized with some nice people from the Fedora project and over coffee we met the other Romanian guy in the mentors gang (at least that's what I know about), Stefan Bucur.

First session we went into was about project hosting, all the platforms out there with their goods and bads, including self hosting.

Then some more thai food and caffeine free coke for lunch in the sun, accompanied by nice flute (?) music from one of the mentors.

After the lunch, we went to the talk about how to make mentoring a continuous activity, with discussions about potential similar programs initiated by OS organizations, and successful stories about motivating students.

Then we went to see how to teach college students to be "hackers" (yeah, I intentionally didn't go to the women in open source talk that was in the same time), how to make them use the real-world tools and how to motivate them, with a successful story from the university of Chicago. With this occasion I discovered that there are a lot of people in this year's summit (maybe in the program in generally) which are part of a university team (teaching, researching, etc).

After a short break, I went to see "pretty pictures": discussion about alternative methods for documentation (image, video, anything non-text), how to produce it and how to stimulate others to. Bottom line is that you need to make your users "ecstatic" about the project so that they feel the need to show it to the world in a screencast :).

Then, the last session of the day was about the relation between the academia world and the open source one, and how nice would it be if all knowledge in the academia would be published and maintained as an open source project.

Now we are back at the hotel and we're gonna have a cool pizza party by the pool. I tried on my mentors shirt over my khaki long-sleeved shirt and it's actually pretty decent. Going out now to amaze everybody with this combination (and eat), and hope to be able to stay up longer than yesterday (I fell asleep at 23, dear me).

1 comment:

Mapguy said...

I am glad to see that Romania was still present at Mentor's Summit. Although I was a mentor for OpenStreetMap I decided not to go there, the travel experience to San Diego last year (work assignment) was more than enough for me.

I hope you had a good time and you showed them what Romanians can do :)