Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Feedback from our 2011 application process

I asked members of our Google Group for feedback on our application process.

First off, students really appreciated the responsiveness of mentors, on the group and directly.  This year we've tried to keep as many of the early discussions on the group as possible so they can help other applicants and take the place of a FAQ.

An outstanding suggestion we will be using is to have successful candidates blog getting started with Sakai and its large codebase, to help future GSoC students and the official community 'getting started' guides too.

Future ideas on the ideas page will have associated Jira tickets (bugs/issues/tasks) wherever possible, or discussion pages where that makes more sense.

We'll also encourage mentors to include 'initial assignments' that can serve to introduce the project for accepted candidates during the socialisation period and give applicants a way to show their skills - it's a neat and constructive way of having a 'coding challenge' element which is popular in many other orgs.

I think we'll also be trying to streamline the whole application process and make it less intimidating. We've had fewer applications per project this year than last (so far anyway - applications are still open) so it probably needs to be more exciting and more accessible. Between the blog, Google group, ideas page and Melange page there's a lot of information to take in, and that's before even starting on the Sakai community pages.

Kudos to Kasun Lakpriya, Nandana Mihindukulasooriya, Avinash Parida and Aadish Kotwal for their terrific feedback.    

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