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GSOC Mentoring Guide

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For potential mentors: students work remotely and will typically communicate with you electronically. Students are expected to be self-motivated and responsible for getting work done. Your average time investment is about one-four hours per week.

When a student contacts you, please tell the student a bit about your project. Here's some questions you might want to answer:

  • What software are you creating?
  • Why is it interesting?
  • Who uses it?
  • What languages is it written in?
  • How is it going to change the world?

Include any instructions or information about communicating, e.g. your time zone.

Resources and Guides

What makes a good GSoC Project?

The following information comes from the GSoC manual on what makes a good GSoC project. There are many ways to define a good GSoC project—probably as many ways as there are student-mentor pairings. Here are just a few:

Low-hanging fruit: These projects require minimal familiarity with the codebase and basic technical knowledge. They are relatively short, with clear goals.

Risky/Exploratory: These projects push the scope boundaries of your development effort. They might require expertise in an area not covered by your current development team. They might take advantage of a new technology. There is a reasonable chance that the project might be less successful, but the potential rewards make it worth the attempt.

Fun/Peripheral: These projects might not be related to the current core development focus, but create new innovations and new perspective for your project.

Core development: These projects derive from the ongoing work from the core of your development team. The list of features and bugs is never-ending, and help is always welcome.

Infrastructure/Automation: These projects are the code that your organization uses to get its development work done; for example, projects that improve the automation of releases, regression tests and automated builds. This is a category in which a GSoC student can be really helpful, doing work that the development team has been putting off while they focus on core development. source: GSoC manual

Prospective students are interested in "new" technologies and languages, such as iOS and Android apps, and fancy, flashy, web-based projects.

Project idea format

Name of the Project

  • Research Group
  • Goal of the idea: describe the outcome of the project idea
  • Brief description of the idea, including any relevant links, etc.
  • Languages and skills: programming language(s) to be used, plus any other particular computer science skills needed
  • Mentors: name + contact details of the lead mentor, name + contact details of backup mentor