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Initial Post: RailsGirls Summer of Code Idea
(This is mostly a cross posting from the RailsGirls Berlin coaches group, I'm
posting it here based on a recommendation of Linda. I'll also add some
additional thoughts inline that came up in a discussion with Henrietta. Also,
sorry if some of this might come over a bit messed up, it still is very much a
work in progress and collection of ideas/thoughts.)
The "RailsGirls Summer of Love" project idea came out of a recent RailsGirls
Berlin coaches/orgas meeting where we discussed ideas about how to follow up on
RailsGirls beginners workshops best.
Basically, the idea is to get a project going as follows:
Purpose: get RailsGirls students in touch with the open source community/world
and motivate them to participate
Following the footsteps of Google Summer of Code and Ruby Summer of Code we
would pay students for working on open-source projects, while being mentored
and supported by project owners/maintainers. Companies would donate money for
this to be possible. Like this:
1. We find open source projects that define/suggest particular goals for this
and offer mentorship.
2. We find RailsGirls students who'd like to participate and work on those
goals for a certain period of time.
3. We find sponsorship/crowdfunding so we can pay the attendees a reasonable
amount so they can focus on their projects.
4. (optional) We find workplaces where there's a coach around personally who
can give additional support.
re 1.
Any open source project would be eligible.
Possible goals can be anything from adding features and writing actual code to
improving the documentation to doing html/css or design work. It doesn't need
to be "just code", instead it actually might help if students could bring in
their background (if they're designers, do some design work, if they're good at
writing, write something, etc.)
Coming up with good ideas for projects might be hard. We'll definitely want to
reach out to the community.
Also, estimating the amount of time it will take to realize each of the goals
will be tough, too. Estimating work on software is very hard already, doing so
with an unknown collaborator might be close to impossible. We will need to
experiment on this. Maybe it would make sense to define a bunch of smaller
tasks/goals and follow-up goals if they're reached early. In the end the
purpose of this is not to reach goals on open source projects, but getting
students in touch and motivate them.
Projects would have to name a mentor who's up to support the student throughout
the project. Projects might share work on this (afaik at Ruby Summer of Code
there were so called "secondary mentors") but there should be one personal
mentor.
re 3.
Should be doable in one way or the other, no?
If we would literally follow the lead of Google Summer of Code or Ruby Summer
of Code, then we'd pay students 5K USD for 3 months IF they reach the goal. I
feel this might need to be adjusted to our own needs.
- What would be a good "minimal" amount to pay so that students are really free
to focus on this for a given amount of time? Taking into account that 1 USD
by far does not mean the same in various places worldwide. How do we deal with
this?
- Would we want to pay per day, week, month? What constraints?
- Would we actually want to pay on success/fullfilment? And what exactly odes
that mean in this case?
We are also discussing to support this by using the Travis CI crowd funding
campaign, which we are currently planning to revamp for 2013/14. No decisions
have been made so far and the question if this is possible is still open.
re 4.
This coach does not have to be the same person who's mentoring. The mentor's
job is to know the open source project well, understand the goals/tasks and
give guidance and support. The coach's job is to additionally help the student
getting their stuff done.
I'm not sure if it should be required to have both roles, but I would guess
that in many cases it would be great to have both, especially since sitting
right next to a coach/supporter might be helpful.
So, how could we make this happen?
- I guess having a simple website that outlines the idea would be a great
start. Or even just having a Gist might work, too. Who's up?
- Present this to the community (Twitter, Mailinglists), talk to other groups
(like Railsbridge), talk to high profile devs, talk to … who else?
- Talk to companies if they'd be up to support this by providing a workplace
onsite and giving people some space for supporting the student.
It would be great to find someone (obviously a women, ideally) who could take
the lead role for organising things. Or a small team, maybe. Obviously we'd all
be up to help with this as much as possible.
Wdyat?
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