Friday, August 20, 2010

When Does a GSOC Project End?

Today is the deadline for turning in student evaluations for the 2010 edition of the Google Summer of Code. The RTEMS Project was fortunate enough to have eight students this year and they all did great work. Some of it is still not merged and some needs some polish and love before being production ready. But it looks like all the students successfully met their goals. Personally, I am proud of all the students this year.

So the GSOC 2010 program is nearing its official end and it is tempting for the students to consider their work as over and end their involvement with RTEMS. But that's not the goal of GSOC nor is it desirable from an RTEMS perspective. All projects participating in GSOC want code written during the summer but they also really want long-term contributors. So this is not an end, it is a transition. What do you do next?

As a minimum, you need to work with the mentors to get your code merged into the various projects, functional, documented, and tested. We want your code to be part of the RTEMS experience moving forward. This is not a classroom exercise where the code is thrown away.

Last year, I told someone that you really should make your goal that you should be proud of what is merged and available. You should be able to cite this work as an example of what you are capable of to future employers and graduate schools. Just as all FOSS developers take pride in their work, you should also. Work with us to help get it to that point.

We would like to see you all continue your involvement. This would give you a chance to see YOUR work being used by real world applications. Your involvement does not have to be limited to the area of your GSOC project. RTEMS is a broad project and you can work on something else if that is what you want to do. It is also perfectly acceptable to simply continue to work to perfect your submission. We strive for 100% test coverage, great documentation and exceptional performance. Those are hard to achieve in a first implementation of anything.

So students, do not disappear. Stay involved.

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