I am a Google Summer of Code selected contributor for the year 2022 under CERN-HSF. So, Every year, For all the selected students ( or contributors in any sense) are invited to attend the Global GSOC summit where speakers comes and address things about open source and computer science in general. I was part of this summit and attended it (virtually). I was really impressed by the event and it had left me with a mindset about how to take forward the open source industry and computer science.
The summit kicks off with Chris DiBona who is the director of GSOC and actual person behind the initialization of this prestigious program and Stephanie Taylor discussing about why this year it was not only restricted to the university students but also to other people in the tech. The reason was pretty acceptable that people who couldn’t make it in university and got engaged with their lives and then they recently had a career switch , Then it would allow them to be a part of this program. But this just don’t affect the opportunities for new students as 80% of them are still students. Only 20% of people are graduates. So, It really doesn’t block opportunities and provides a chance for others who wants to have a great career boost.
As the summit moves on - Mentors, Project Admins, Students, Ex-Students, Legal Advisors, Tech enthusiasts, Google Program leaders and many different kind of individuals gave a speech on their respected topics. Here below you can find my learnings from the entire GSOC Summit from various speakers and presenters.
- Open Source is important for Computer Science.
- People get into open source because either it interests you or it annoys you. Let’s say you use some software but you face some issue using it, So you get annoyed any say “Fine, I will do it myself” just like Thanos.
- Technology is not about memorizing the concepts and codes. It is about understanding how things work.
- It is really okay to be dumb and ask questions to mentors or even on technical forums.
- Be a helper to the next person, By documenting your journey. (This line really got me and I just made standard formats for my GSOC code which initially I though I would fix it later. And also, I decided to write a lots of blogs about tech in upcoming times)
- Find some time daily to review Pull Requests (PRs) for just programming errors, You will eventually learn the codebase and will help others.
- Pasti Ada Jalan : This is an Indonesian saying which in english translates to “ There is always a way ”. In your journey, If you get stumbled at any point just know this.
- Open Source teaches you to become democratic in life.
- Mentors also faces issues. But they are better at figuring out those quickly. This skill comes with practice and experience.
- Student of GSOC is just about learning the technology. But Mentor of GSOC is about learning the technology and management both.
- GSOC also allows you to have clear insights about Product Management (PM) umbrella roles. Knowing about different licesenses allows you to know your legal limits and strengths regarding the code that might seem interesting to you.
- Promoting your open source work is important for appreciating yourself. It can be done by updating your Github Profile, Blogging (Lol ! This article again is inspired by this point.), Micro-Blogging (Posts on Social Media), Conference, Meetings, Presentations, Checking if your project has a Author’s List and add your name in ReadMe if it has one such list.
- If you still love open source after completition of the GSOC journey then you can write books, Travel to global summits, Give talks and just return your gratitude back to the community in any possible sense you can give.
I would conclude saying that, This summit was something more than just knowing about open source and technology , Instead it helped in shaping someone into a person whom really a kind of tech world needs.