Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
16 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Tony Thomas
Hello all,

I hit across this idea in the recent GSoC Mentors summit, and in the
discussion with Srishti and Sumit on the reducing usability and scope of
GSoC/Outreachy projects[1] among the years.

*The problem*
Students show up one or two weeks before GSoC or Outreachy, and propose a
solution to existing ideas, and often end up completing it and leaving the
project. Due to this, there is a decline in student-proposed ideas as well,
given 1-2 weeks is not enough to understand Wikimedia from any direction.

*How to solve *
Its tricky, and I came across this program codeheat[2] by FOSSASIA which is
kind of like a Google Code In without any age limit. Its open for everyone
(with majority being Univeristy students), and of course - if this runs
before GSoC, these students who shine in this program gets an advantage
while applying for GSoC. Like they would better know the community, and
might be even able to propose a much-needed project.

The timing of the event is pretty important, like if we need students to
stick to their project once they complete one among the outreach programs
(GSoC/Outreachy), they need to be *engaged*. I think a pattern like this
would help.

   1. A Wikimedia specific code challenge running from say Jan 15 to Mar
   1st with grand prize winners given goodies and maybe a conference ticket
   (if funds exists)
   2. Student with Google Summer of Code/ Outreachy from Mar 20 - September
   6th [3] and later mentoring.
   3. Google Code In Mentors from mid November to January 30

The students can then be mentors for the rest of the programs, and thus
feel warm with the community.

What can the* new event cost*
While talking with FOSSASIA, it seems like they just have a registration
app running at [2], and they assign issues via Github to applicants. Since
we have phab, this might be even simple. Since its a challenge, it can get
enough publicity, and specially in Universities which have future
GSoC/Outreach students and mentors.

We might need someone happy enough to run the program too (

Do comment what you think about the idea of retaining GSoC students with
such an event. Feedbacks and comments welcome.

[1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:MaxSem/GSoC_analysis
[2] http://codeheat.org/
[3] https://developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/timeline

Thanks,
Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/> |
ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Dinu Sandaru
Hi Tony and all,

I would like to add information about another program which matches the
Tony's description to a certain extent. It is Season of KDE by KDE [1].
Similar to GSoC and FOSS OPW they add a set of projects but very smaller in
scope. The competition is held typically around December to February. If
you successfully finish the project they give you a certificate and a
T-shirt. After completing the project, the students can remain contributing
and eventually end up in a GSoC.

Based on that and Tony's suggestion, when deciding the type of the
challenge for Wikimedia, I think we have two options.

1. A GCI kind of a challenge where we add specific tasks and students can
claim and do them repeatedly.
2. We add small projects and select a student who will do the project (like
a mini GSoC).

I support Tony's idea because this gives students more time to fomarly
interact with the community and according to my idea, the longer the
student interacts with the community, higher the chance that, he/she is
going to remain.

[1]
https://dot.kde.org/2016/10/06/kde-student-programs-announces-season-kde-2016-2017

Best regards,
Dinu Kumarasiri


On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 12:59 AM, Tony Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I hit across this idea in the recent GSoC Mentors summit, and in the
> discussion with Srishti and Sumit on the reducing usability and scope of
> GSoC/Outreachy projects[1] among the years.
>
> *The problem*
> Students show up one or two weeks before GSoC or Outreachy, and propose a
> solution to existing ideas, and often end up completing it and leaving the
> project. Due to this, there is a decline in student-proposed ideas as well,
> given 1-2 weeks is not enough to understand Wikimedia from any direction.
>
> *How to solve *
> Its tricky, and I came across this program codeheat[2] by FOSSASIA which is
> kind of like a Google Code In without any age limit. Its open for everyone
> (with majority being Univeristy students), and of course - if this runs
> before GSoC, these students who shine in this program gets an advantage
> while applying for GSoC. Like they would better know the community, and
> might be even able to propose a much-needed project.
>
> The timing of the event is pretty important, like if we need students to
> stick to their project once they complete one among the outreach programs
> (GSoC/Outreachy), they need to be *engaged*. I think a pattern like this
> would help.
>
>    1. A Wikimedia specific code challenge running from say Jan 15 to Mar
>    1st with grand prize winners given goodies and maybe a conference ticket
>    (if funds exists)
>    2. Student with Google Summer of Code/ Outreachy from Mar 20 - September
>    6th [3] and later mentoring.
>    3. Google Code In Mentors from mid November to January 30
>
> The students can then be mentors for the rest of the programs, and thus
> feel warm with the community.
>
> What can the* new event cost*
> While talking with FOSSASIA, it seems like they just have a registration
> app running at [2], and they assign issues via Github to applicants. Since
> we have phab, this might be even simple. Since its a challenge, it can get
> enough publicity, and specially in Universities which have future
> GSoC/Outreach students and mentors.
>
> We might need someone happy enough to run the program too (
>
> Do comment what you think about the idea of retaining GSoC students with
> such an event. Feedbacks and comments welcome.
>
> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:MaxSem/GSoC_analysis
> [2] http://codeheat.org/
> [3] https://developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/timeline
>
> Thanks,
> Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
> Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/>
> |
> ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l




--
Dinu Kumarasiri
*,*

*Software Engineer,*

*Sri Lanka*
http://sinceeverybodyhasablog.wordpress.com/
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Sumit Asthana
In reply to this post by Tony Thomas
Hi all,

On Wed, Nov 2, 2016, 12:29 PM Tony Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello all,
>
> I hit across this idea in the recent GSoC Mentors summit, and in the
> discussion with Srishti and Sumit on the reducing usability and scope of
> GSoC/Outreachy projects[1] among the years.
>
> *The problem*
> Students show up one or two weeks before GSoC or Outreachy, and propose a
> solution to existing ideas, and often end up completing it and leaving the
> project. Due to this, there is a decline in student-proposed ideas as well,
> given 1-2 weeks is not enough to understand Wikimedia from any direction.
>
> *How to solve *
> Its tricky, and I came across this program codeheat[2] by FOSSASIA which
> is kind of like a Google Code In without any age limit. Its open for
> everyone (with majority being Univeristy students), and of course - if this
> runs before GSoC, these students who shine in this program gets an
> advantage while applying for GSoC. Like they would better know the
> community, and might be even able to propose a much-needed project.
>
> The timing of the event is pretty important, like if we need students to
> stick to their project once they complete one among the outreach programs
> (GSoC/Outreachy), they need to be *engaged*. I think a pattern like this
> would help.
>
>    1. A Wikimedia specific code challenge running from say Jan 15 to Mar
>    1st with grand prize winners given goodies and maybe a conference ticket
>    (if funds exists)
>    2. Student with Google Summer of Code/ Outreachy from Mar 20 -
>    September 6th [3] and later mentoring.
>    3. Google Code In Mentors from mid November to January 30
>
> I'm not sure how the organizational structure of the event would plan out
but yes having it towards the end of GCI also means less overhead as
leftover easy or unattempted intermediate tasks from GCI could be used for
this event.

The students can then be mentors for the rest of the programs, and thus

> feel warm with the community.
>
> What can the* new event cost*
> While talking with FOSSASIA, it seems like they just have a registration
> app running at [2], and they assign issues via Github to applicants. Since
> we have phab, this might be even simple. Since its a challenge, it can get
> enough publicity, and specially in Universities which have future
> GSoC/Outreach students and mentors.
>
> We might need someone happy enough to run the program too (
>
> Do comment what you think about the idea of retaining GSoC students with
> such an event. Feedbacks and comments welcome.
>
> [1] https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:MaxSem/GSoC_analysis
> [2] http://codeheat.org/
> [3] https://developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/timeline
>
> Thanks,
> Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
> Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/>
> | ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
>
>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Yaron Koren-2
In reply to this post by Tony Thomas
Hi,

I hit across this idea in the recent GSoC Mentors summit, and in the
> discussion with Srishti and Sumit on the reducing usability and scope of
> GSoC/Outreachy projects[1] among the years.


> *The problem*
> Students show up one or two weeks before GSoC or Outreachy, and propose a
> solution to existing ideas, and often end up completing it and leaving the
> project. Due to this, there is a decline in student-proposed ideas as well,
> given 1-2 weeks is not enough to understand Wikimedia from any direction.


I didn't really understand this. You seem to be talking about some or all
of the following issues:

1) Fewer students doing projects for the Wikimedia Foundation as part of
the Google Summer of Code and, I guess, Outreachy, than in previous
years - 2013
being the high point.

2) Students doing projects that are less useful than in previous years.

3) Students not staying with the Wikimedia/MediaWiki after the conclusion
of their project.

4) Students doing projects proposed by existing MediaWiki developers,
rather than projects they proposed themselves.

I see these as four unrelated issues, and actually I see only two of them
as real issues: #2 I don't think is true (though I'm not sure if that's
what you meant by "usability"), while #4 I don't see as an issue at all.
Personally, I think only projects proposed by potential mentors should be
considered at all, and that the documentation should state that clearly.
I'm not aware of any GSoC projects where the student came up with the idea
on their own and then executed on it successfully - with the exception of
projects where the student is an established MediaWiki developer who
happens to currently be in college, but that's obviously a special case.
It's just not reasonable to expect that someone from outside the
WMF/MediaWiki community would be able to come up with a project that (a)
makes sense, (b) fits within the current development roadmap, and (c) is of
the right scope for a GSoC/Outreachy project.

More generally, I don't think there's anything less rewarding about doing a
project that someone else came up with. In software development, as in most
things, the difficult part - and the most rewarding part - is the
execution, not the original idea. (There are various inspirational quotes
to this effect.)

That leaves #1 and #3 - fewer students participating, fewer students
staying on afterwards. I think #1 is just a function of fewer potential
mentors getting involved. Retaining students, on the other hand, is a real
problem. I can think of various ways to try to improve this, though
creating a new outreach/funding program seems extreme - it would take a lot
of work, and you would presumably run into the same problem of a limited
number of mentors. If there's money to pay for these kinds of things, why
not just put more money into, say, hiring more developers from out of the
GSoC pool? It's one idea.

-Yaron

--
WikiWorks · MediaWiki Consulting · http://wikiworks.com
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Tony Thomas
Wow. Thank you Dinu, Sumit and Yaron for the comments.

Let me try commenting inline, without making a mess out of it.

On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 3:29 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I see these as four unrelated issues, and actually I see only two of them
> as real issues: #2 I don't think is true (though I'm not sure if that's
> what you meant by "usability"), while #4 I don't see as an issue at all.
> Personally, I think only projects proposed by potential mentors should be
> considered at all, and that the documentation should state that clearly.
> I'm not aware of any GSoC projects where the student came up with the idea
> on their own and then executed on it successfully - with the exception of
> projects where the student is an established MediaWiki developer who
> happens to currently be in college, but that's obviously a special case.
> It's just not reasonable to expect that someone from outside the
> WMF/MediaWiki community would be able to come up with a project that (a)
> makes sense, (b) fits within the current development roadmap, and (c) is of
> the right scope for a GSoC/Outreachy project.
>

You are right, and a student proposing a project few days before the GSoC
project cannot make (a) sense and (b) fit anywhere. This is exactly why we
are trying to solve. With such a program, the student gets in cool with the
community a bit (as having a few months headstart), and we might even end
up having students who might be able to understand the community to propose
something that makes sense ? I know there is whole lot of optimism in
there, but there can be chance. Like in my case, my GSoC 14 project on VERP
was not a featured project, and strangely one day Nemo Bis talked to me
about this while roamin around in #wikimedia-dev. I just think better
connections and understanding of the community might even bring in better
projects (too much opitmism there).


> More generally, I don't think there's anything less rewarding about doing
> a project that someone else came up with. In software development, as in
> most things, the difficult part - and the most rewarding part - is the
> execution, not the original idea. (There are various inspirational quotes
> to this effect.)
>

Agreed.


> That leaves #1 and #3 - fewer students participating, fewer students
> staying on afterwards. I think #1 is just a function of fewer potential
> mentors getting involved. Retaining students, on the other hand, is a real
> problem. I can think of various ways to try to improve this, though
> creating a new outreach/funding program seems extreme - it would take a lot
> of work, and you would presumably run into the same problem of a limited
> number of mentors. If there's money to pay for these kinds of things, why
> not just put more money into, say, hiring more developers from out of the
> GSoC pool? It's one idea.
>

This was indeed our concern, but considering the way FOSSASIA or KDE runs
it, I dont think it might cost us that much (possibly underestimating). We
might have a bit of trouble finding out enough projects which are of
different levels, but once we find out that, assigning and a lose structure
in mentoring might turn out to make things easy for mentors and students.
Like we are not supervised by Google or Gnome for the same, and the program
can run without hardly too much of regulations, and minimum rewards.

Thanks,
Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/> |
ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Yaron Koren-2
Hi Tony,

Personally, I think only projects proposed by potential mentors should be

>> considered at all, and that the documentation should state that clearly.
>> I'm not aware of any GSoC projects where the student came up with the idea
>> on their own and then executed on it successfully - with the exception of
>> projects where the student is an established MediaWiki developer who
>> happens to currently be in college, but that's obviously a special case.
>> It's just not reasonable to expect that someone from outside the
>> WMF/MediaWiki community would be able to come up with a project that (a)
>> makes sense, (b) fits within the current development roadmap, and (c) is of
>> the right scope for a GSoC/Outreachy project.
>>
>
> You are right, and a student proposing a project few days before the GSoC
> project cannot make (a) sense and (b) fit anywhere. This is exactly why we
> are trying to solve. With such a program, the student gets in cool with the
> community a bit (as having a few months headstart), and we might even end
> up having students who might be able to understand the community to propose
> something that makes sense ? I know there is whole lot of optimism in
> there, but there can be chance. Like in my case, my GSoC 14 project on VERP
> was not a featured project, and strangely one day Nemo Bis talked to me
> about this while roamin around in #wikimedia-dev. I just think better
> connections and understanding of the community might even bring in better
> projects (too much opitmism there).
>

I still think coming up with project ideas should basically be left to
potential mentors. In your case, it's not that you actually came up with
the project on your own, as in you saw a need for better email bounce
handling or whatever it was; it's that this was a known problem, but no one
thought to make it a GSoC project until you talked to a developer. Which is
a problem, and I think it stems from the same apathy that has led to not
enough WMF mentors. But I hope that there's a better solution for it other
than essentially requiring potential students to become detectives, trying
to find interesting coding challenges that no one has proposed for GSoC
etc. Maybe the solution is for you and others to do this work yourself -
talking to MW/WMF developers to find more tasks and drum up enthusiasm
among potential mentors - essentially what you did before, but now as an
administrator and not a potential student.

-Yaron
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Tony Thomas
Hey Yaron,

On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 5:34 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But I hope that there's a better solution for it other than essentially
> requiring potential students to become detectives, trying to find
> interesting coding challenges that no one has proposed for GSoC etc. Maybe
> the solution is for you and others to do this work yourself - talking to
> MW/WMF developers to find more tasks and drum up enthusiasm among potential
> mentors - essentially what you did before, but now as an administrator and
> not a potential student.


Thank you for the trust Yaron, but here we are talking not only about new
tasks being up in Phabricator for students to charge upon, but to increase
the quality of students itself before they start working on the project.
Performance report of a student in that kind of a program even can make it
easy for a mentor to better evaluate his/her proposal (considering past
contributions matter). More than that, this would be one good option for
post-GSoC students to still stick with the community too - as they can
either participate, or even be mentors again.

Yeah - we are trying to solve actually two problems here - (a) better
community code review and codebase aware students before GSoC (b) making
students stick back with Wikimedia after they complete their project.

Thanks,
Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/> |
ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Yaron Koren-2
Hi Tony,

Well, I still think there might be easier ways of getting students to stick
with Wikimedia/MediaWiki over the long term - one obvious idea is to pay
students who had useful projects to maintain or complete those projects,
post-GSoC - but nevertheless, if you're willing to put in the work to
create a WMF outreach/mentorship program, I support you; I'm sure any such
effort is better than nothing.

-Yaron

On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 10:59 AM, Tony Thomas <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hey Yaron,
>
> On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 5:34 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> But I hope that there's a better solution for it other than essentially
>> requiring potential students to become detectives, trying to find
>> interesting coding challenges that no one has proposed for GSoC etc. Maybe
>> the solution is for you and others to do this work yourself - talking to
>> MW/WMF developers to find more tasks and drum up enthusiasm among potential
>> mentors - essentially what you did before, but now as an administrator and
>> not a potential student.
>
>
> Thank you for the trust Yaron, but here we are talking not only about new
> tasks being up in Phabricator for students to charge upon, but to increase
> the quality of students itself before they start working on the project.
> Performance report of a student in that kind of a program even can make it
> easy for a mentor to better evaluate his/her proposal (considering past
> contributions matter). More than that, this would be one good option for
> post-GSoC students to still stick with the community too - as they can
> either participate, or even be mentors again.
>
> Yeah - we are trying to solve actually two problems here - (a) better
> community code review and codebase aware students before GSoC (b) making
> students stick back with Wikimedia after they complete their project.
>
> Thanks,
> Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
> Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/>
> | ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
>
>


--
WikiWorks · MediaWiki Consulting · http://wikiworks.com
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

nischay nahata
Hi all,

My 2 cents.

I think GSoC or Wikimedia and schools/colleges don't reach out to each
other in a proper manner. This leads to late and limited discovery of GSoC
(only some students will know mostly when they stalk their seniors
profile). So I think there has to be an effort to reach out to students
early on, let them know about this programme, etc. This can be done by
approaching through the current/past students and maybe the faculty.


Secondly, I agree with Yaron that projects should be proposed by mentors.
So we need more time from mentors for sure. I was lucky to have mentors who
had enough time to discuss the project with me and help me while executing
it. On the other hand when I was working for WMF as a contract developer,
WMF engineers didn't have enough time to review my code (not blaming them
though).


Lastly, I will talk about sticking with a project or the community. Most of
these college students will go for a full-time job and it can be difficult
to contribute. If they are still not in the final college year you can have
them as contract developers (as was in my case) and maybe full-time
developers later on.


Regards,
Nischay Nahata

On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 7:01 AM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Tony,
>
> Well, I still think there might be easier ways of getting students to stick
> with Wikimedia/MediaWiki over the long term - one obvious idea is to pay
> students who had useful projects to maintain or complete those projects,
> post-GSoC - but nevertheless, if you're willing to put in the work to
> create a WMF outreach/mentorship program, I support you; I'm sure any such
> effort is better than nothing.
>
> -Yaron
>
> On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 10:59 AM, Tony Thomas <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hey Yaron,
> >
> > On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 5:34 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> But I hope that there's a better solution for it other than essentially
> >> requiring potential students to become detectives, trying to find
> >> interesting coding challenges that no one has proposed for GSoC etc.
> Maybe
> >> the solution is for you and others to do this work yourself - talking to
> >> MW/WMF developers to find more tasks and drum up enthusiasm among
> potential
> >> mentors - essentially what you did before, but now as an administrator
> and
> >> not a potential student.
> >
> >
> > Thank you for the trust Yaron, but here we are talking not only about new
> > tasks being up in Phabricator for students to charge upon, but to
> increase
> > the quality of students itself before they start working on the project.
> > Performance report of a student in that kind of a program even can make
> it
> > easy for a mentor to better evaluate his/her proposal (considering past
> > contributions matter). More than that, this would be one good option for
> > post-GSoC students to still stick with the community too - as they can
> > either participate, or even be mentors again.
> >
> > Yeah - we are trying to solve actually two problems here - (a) better
> > community code review and codebase aware students before GSoC (b) making
> > students stick back with Wikimedia after they complete their project.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
> > Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/
> >
> > | ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
> >
> >
>
>
> --
> WikiWorks · MediaWiki Consulting · http://wikiworks.com
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Cyken Zeraux
Nischay makes a good point with the disconnect between education and
Mediawiki.

A contributing factor to this disconnect is that Mediawiki isn't at all
convenient for educators to get up and running. Thats just the software
stack. Add ontop of that knowing how to install good extensions, such as
Visual Editor and the Math extension, and you end up with a pile of sysop
work that most educators just can't spend the time on. Commercial wiki
hosters aren't particularly profitable and don't offer these features,
either.

I was working on a project that could resolve some of these problems, but
Mediawiki is not made in a fashion that would make this maintainable
between versions, and in the end would still require a decent amount of
sysop work.

This would be outside of getting students to code, but if Wikimedia wants
to help solve the disconnect, hosting a wiki farm that is pre-loaded with
features educators want, and allowing them to easily create wiki's for free
(with an .edu email), would certainly do it. Add ontop of that a
documentation wiki that is a lot more focused on those features, and how to
properly use them, and you've got a two in one punch.





On Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 9:43 PM, Nischay Nahata <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> My 2 cents.
>
> I think GSoC or Wikimedia and schools/colleges don't reach out to each
> other in a proper manner. This leads to late and limited discovery of GSoC
> (only some students will know mostly when they stalk their seniors
> profile). So I think there has to be an effort to reach out to students
> early on, let them know about this programme, etc. This can be done by
> approaching through the current/past students and maybe the faculty.
>
>
> Secondly, I agree with Yaron that projects should be proposed by mentors.
> So we need more time from mentors for sure. I was lucky to have mentors who
> had enough time to discuss the project with me and help me while executing
> it. On the other hand when I was working for WMF as a contract developer,
> WMF engineers didn't have enough time to review my code (not blaming them
> though).
>
>
> Lastly, I will talk about sticking with a project or the community. Most of
> these college students will go for a full-time job and it can be difficult
> to contribute. If they are still not in the final college year you can have
> them as contract developers (as was in my case) and maybe full-time
> developers later on.
>
>
> Regards,
> Nischay Nahata
>
> On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 7:01 AM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Hi Tony,
> >
> > Well, I still think there might be easier ways of getting students to
> stick
> > with Wikimedia/MediaWiki over the long term - one obvious idea is to pay
> > students who had useful projects to maintain or complete those projects,
> > post-GSoC - but nevertheless, if you're willing to put in the work to
> > create a WMF outreach/mentorship program, I support you; I'm sure any
> such
> > effort is better than nothing.
> >
> > -Yaron
> >
> > On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 10:59 AM, Tony Thomas <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Hey Yaron,
> > >
> > > On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 5:34 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >> But I hope that there's a better solution for it other than
> essentially
> > >> requiring potential students to become detectives, trying to find
> > >> interesting coding challenges that no one has proposed for GSoC etc.
> > Maybe
> > >> the solution is for you and others to do this work yourself - talking
> to
> > >> MW/WMF developers to find more tasks and drum up enthusiasm among
> > potential
> > >> mentors - essentially what you did before, but now as an administrator
> > and
> > >> not a potential student.
> > >
> > >
> > > Thank you for the trust Yaron, but here we are talking not only about
> new
> > > tasks being up in Phabricator for students to charge upon, but to
> > increase
> > > the quality of students itself before they start working on the
> project.
> > > Performance report of a student in that kind of a program even can make
> > it
> > > easy for a mentor to better evaluate his/her proposal (considering past
> > > contributions matter). More than that, this would be one good option
> for
> > > post-GSoC students to still stick with the community too - as they can
> > > either participate, or even be mentors again.
> > >
> > > Yeah - we are trying to solve actually two problems here - (a) better
> > > community code review and codebase aware students before GSoC (b)
> making
> > > students stick back with Wikimedia after they complete their project.
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > > Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
> > > Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.
> com/
> > >
> > > | ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > WikiWorks · MediaWiki Consulting · http://wikiworks.com
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

John Mark Vandenberg
This is probably a good thread to introduce a program we have been
running in Indonesia called Besut Kode, funded by Ford Foundation.

We noticed there were not many GCI/GSOC participants from Indonesia,
and also not many Wikimedia devs from Indonesia, and are trying to fix
that.

We are using a competitive training program format, with eliminations
and prizes, to ensure that we spend more time mentoring the
participants with the most potential to succeed in the OSS world.

The project has two halves, the first targeting high school (called
SMA) students preparing them for GCI, and then the second targeting
University students preparing them for GSOC.  Between them we have had
almost 1000 registrations.

The participant list for both is at:
https://github.com/BesutKode/BesutKode.github.io

The high school program is entirely in private repositories, allowing
the students to make all kinds of mistakes, and learn from them, with
the goal being to submit a real significant patch an to OSS project.
Six have finished the program, with merged contributions to real OSS
projects, and a few more are likely to finish it before GCI starts,
but have struggled to fit it in with their other activities.

The program for university students is more public.  The English
version of the program is at

http://wikimedia-id.github.io/besutkode/university-modules-en.html

One of the features is that we eliminate participants if they are not
active on GitHub every three days, requiring that they complete a
small patch to a pre-selected set of repositories that have increasing
difficulty and slowly moving them more towards GSOC relevant
repositories.

http://wikimedia-id.github.io/besutkode/university-activity-repositories-en.html

You can see their ongoing activity at http://tinyurl.com/bku-other-repos .

In addition, they have to work on some quite difficult tasks, which
they can work on together but must have distinct solutions.

The first of these large tasks is public at
https://github.com/BesutKode/uni-task-1

So far, nine participants have completed that task and are now working
on the second task.

https://github.com/orgs/BesutKode/teams/peserta-universitas-task-2

All of the program materials will be public and CC-BY after the
competition is over, as is required by all Ford grants.

--
John Vandenberg

_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

bawolff
In reply to this post by Yaron Koren-2
On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 2:29 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I hit across this idea in the recent GSoC Mentors summit, and in the
>> discussion with Srishti and Sumit on the reducing usability and scope of
>> GSoC/Outreachy projects[1] among the years.
>
>
>> *The problem*
>> Students show up one or two weeks before GSoC or Outreachy, and propose a
>> solution to existing ideas, and often end up completing it and leaving the
>> project. Due to this, there is a decline in student-proposed ideas as well,
>> given 1-2 weeks is not enough to understand Wikimedia from any direction.
>
>
> I didn't really understand this. You seem to be talking about some or all
> of the following issues:
>
> 1) Fewer students doing projects for the Wikimedia Foundation as part of
> the Google Summer of Code and, I guess, Outreachy, than in previous
> years - 2013
> being the high point.
>
> 2) Students doing projects that are less useful than in previous years.
>
> 3) Students not staying with the Wikimedia/MediaWiki after the conclusion
> of their project.
>
> 4) Students doing projects proposed by existing MediaWiki developers,
> rather than projects they proposed themselves.
>
> I see these as four unrelated issues, and actually I see only two of them
> as real issues: #2 I don't think is true (though I'm not sure if that's
> what you meant by "usability"), while #4 I don't see as an issue at all.
> Personally, I think only projects proposed by potential mentors should be
> considered at all, and that the documentation should state that clearly.
> I'm not aware of any GSoC projects where the student came up with the idea
> on their own and then executed on it successfully - with the exception of
> projects where the student is an established MediaWiki developer who
> happens to currently be in college, but that's obviously a special case.
> It's just not reasonable to expect that someone from outside the
> WMF/MediaWiki community would be able to come up with a project that (a)
> makes sense, (b) fits within the current development roadmap, and (c) is of
> the right scope for a GSoC/Outreachy project.
>
> More generally, I don't think there's anything less rewarding about doing a
> project that someone else came up with. In software development, as in most
> things, the difficult part - and the most rewarding part - is the
> execution, not the original idea. (There are various inspirational quotes
> to this effect.)
>
> That leaves #1 and #3 - fewer students participating, fewer students
> staying on afterwards. I think #1 is just a function of fewer potential
> mentors getting involved. Retaining students, on the other hand, is a real
> problem. I can think of various ways to try to improve this, though
> creating a new outreach/funding program seems extreme - it would take a lot
> of work, and you would presumably run into the same problem of a limited
> number of mentors. If there's money to pay for these kinds of things, why
> not just put more money into, say, hiring more developers from out of the
> GSoC pool? It's one idea.
>
> -Yaron
>

I actually disagree somewhat - I think it can be very rewarding to fix
a problem that you yourself have, as opposed to fixing somebody else's
problem. This is a traditional ideology about open source - that it is
all about scratching your own itch.

Although arguably most gsoc students coming up with their own projects
aren't actually scratching their own itch but desperately trying to
come up with an idea. However, if someone happens to be a preexisting
user of MediaWiki, and finds something they find super annoying, I
think that can make for a very good project.

As for #2 - I think in recent years there has been more effort to make
sure projects are scoped appropriately. This makes it more likely for
projects to be finished, at the expense of making the projects perhaps
less "useful" than in older years. I think choosing the lower risk
lower reward path is entirely appropriate for a program like gsoc, so
I don't think this is a bad thing.

As for users sticking around - I think the communication around gsoc
has shifted from "Here's some money so you can work on MediaWiki
without starving to death" to "Here's a little money and a job so you
can put something cool on your resume". If students are being
attracted to the program principally to have something on their resume
or for the money (To be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong
with that), its not surprising that they leave afterwards when the
money goes away. If we want to attract people in the long term, we
should probably come up with a better carrot.

--
bawolff

_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

nischay nahata
In reply to this post by Cyken Zeraux
On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 10:00 AM, Cyken Zeraux <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Nischay makes a good point with the disconnect between education and
> Mediawiki.
>
>
What I meant was: getting to know about GSoC and WMF is hard, compared to a
summer internship at a company which comes to campus. I think GSoC is a
good (in my case was better) alternative to interning at a corporate.



> A contributing factor to this disconnect is that Mediawiki isn't at all
> convenient for educators to get up and running. Thats just the software
> stack. Add ontop of that knowing how to install good extensions, such as
> Visual Editor and the Math extension, and you end up with a pile of sysop
> work that most educators just can't spend the time on. Commercial wiki
> hosters aren't particularly profitable and don't offer these features,
> either.
>
> I was working on a project that could resolve some of these problems, but
> Mediawiki is not made in a fashion that would make this maintainable
> between versions, and in the end would still require a decent amount of
> sysop work.
>
> This would be outside of getting students to code, but if Wikimedia wants
> to help solve the disconnect, hosting a wiki farm that is pre-loaded with
> features educators want, and allowing them to easily create wiki's for free
> (with an .edu email), would certainly do it. Add ontop of that a
> documentation wiki that is a lot more focused on those features, and how to
> properly use them, and you've got a two in one punch.
>
>
>
I like this idea. This would actually help Wikimedia's mission of
generating more knowledge available to all and also add more editors (Profs
currently author lot of content on their self managed sites, which could be
instead be a wiki on this farm).



>
>
>
> On Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 9:43 PM, Nischay Nahata <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi all,
> >
> > My 2 cents.
> >
> > I think GSoC or Wikimedia and schools/colleges don't reach out to each
> > other in a proper manner. This leads to late and limited discovery of
> GSoC
> > (only some students will know mostly when they stalk their seniors
> > profile). So I think there has to be an effort to reach out to students
> > early on, let them know about this programme, etc. This can be done by
> > approaching through the current/past students and maybe the faculty.
> >
> >
> > Secondly, I agree with Yaron that projects should be proposed by mentors.
> > So we need more time from mentors for sure. I was lucky to have mentors
> who
> > had enough time to discuss the project with me and help me while
> executing
> > it. On the other hand when I was working for WMF as a contract developer,
> > WMF engineers didn't have enough time to review my code (not blaming them
> > though).
> >
> >
> > Lastly, I will talk about sticking with a project or the community. Most
> of
> > these college students will go for a full-time job and it can be
> difficult
> > to contribute. If they are still not in the final college year you can
> have
> > them as contract developers (as was in my case) and maybe full-time
> > developers later on.
> >
> >
> > Regards,
> > Nischay Nahata
> >
> > On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 7:01 AM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > Hi Tony,
> > >
> > > Well, I still think there might be easier ways of getting students to
> > stick
> > > with Wikimedia/MediaWiki over the long term - one obvious idea is to
> pay
> > > students who had useful projects to maintain or complete those
> projects,
> > > post-GSoC - but nevertheless, if you're willing to put in the work to
> > > create a WMF outreach/mentorship program, I support you; I'm sure any
> > such
> > > effort is better than nothing.
> > >
> > > -Yaron
> > >
> > > On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 10:59 AM, Tony Thomas <[hidden email]>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > Hey Yaron,
> > > >
> > > > On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 5:34 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> But I hope that there's a better solution for it other than
> > essentially
> > > >> requiring potential students to become detectives, trying to find
> > > >> interesting coding challenges that no one has proposed for GSoC etc.
> > > Maybe
> > > >> the solution is for you and others to do this work yourself -
> talking
> > to
> > > >> MW/WMF developers to find more tasks and drum up enthusiasm among
> > > potential
> > > >> mentors - essentially what you did before, but now as an
> administrator
> > > and
> > > >> not a potential student.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Thank you for the trust Yaron, but here we are talking not only about
> > new
> > > > tasks being up in Phabricator for students to charge upon, but to
> > > increase
> > > > the quality of students itself before they start working on the
> > project.
> > > > Performance report of a student in that kind of a program even can
> make
> > > it
> > > > easy for a mentor to better evaluate his/her proposal (considering
> past
> > > > contributions matter). More than that, this would be one good option
> > for
> > > > post-GSoC students to still stick with the community too - as they
> can
> > > > either participate, or even be mentors again.
> > > >
> > > > Yeah - we are trying to solve actually two problems here - (a) better
> > > > community code review and codebase aware students before GSoC (b)
> > making
> > > > students stick back with Wikimedia after they complete their project.
> > > >
> > > > Thanks,
> > > > Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
> > > > Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.
> > com/
> > > >
> > > > | ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
> > > >
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > WikiWorks · MediaWiki Consulting · http://wikiworks.com
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > > [hidden email]
> > > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikitech-l mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Tony Thomas
In reply to this post by nischay nahata
Thank you Brian, Nischay, John, Cyken and Yaron for the words. You people
are doing a great job by keeping this thread and idea alive. I would want
to agree to disagree at places like - 'hiring everyone of them' or things
like that. If we are talking about making people stick, the model I am
talking about would be a *cheaper *option ?

I just want to reply to something over here.

On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 4:43 AM, Nischay Nahata <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I think GSoC or Wikimedia and schools/colleges don't reach out to each
> other in a proper manner. This leads to late and limited discovery of GSoC
> (only some students will know mostly when they stalk their seniors
> profile). So I think there has to be an effort to reach out to students
> early on, let them know about this programme, etc. This can be done by
> approaching through the current/past students and maybe the faculty.
>

We are talking about the participation for an international event, and I
dont think reaching out to every University and department would scale.
Like, what can we talk - even if we have this hypothetical awareness camp
to all profs and students ? It would be something like - If you want to
contribute to Mediawiki, please do, and we have this shiny thing called
GSoC, which can give you something cool on your resume etc. Better than
this, if we have in event in hand, this thing can go really well -
specially I am talking about the wide reach of it. People can just share
links, sign up and participate.

I really liked what John is doing in Indonesia - that program, when planned
at the right time before GSoC or GCI, can have a huge boost to the number
of applications and more than that, the quality of the applications. The
number of spam proposals which we recieve each year, might even reduce.

Thinking practical, if with little support, I feel that this program might
be able to be a huge hit, specially in my home country - India, and if
there is enough support, I might be able to even run a sample of it over
there and see how the results change. I would need little help like, maybe
few goodies for people who can show exceptional peformance and something
for the grand prize.

Thanks,
Tony Thomas <https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:01tonythomas>
Home <http://www.thomastony.me> | Blog <https://tttwrites.wordpress.com/> |
ThinkFOSS <http://www.thinkfoss.com>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Yaron Koren-2
In reply to this post by Tony Thomas
Hi,

bawolff wrote:

I actually disagree somewhat - I think it can be very rewarding to fix
> a problem that you yourself have, as opposed to fixing somebody else's
> problem. This is a traditional ideology about open source - that it is
> all about scratching your own itch.


> Although arguably most gsoc students coming up with their own projects
> aren't actually scratching their own itch but desperately trying to
> come up with an idea. However, if someone happens to be a preexisting
> user of MediaWiki, and finds something they find super annoying, I
> think that can make for a very good project.


In theory this is true. In practice, I'm not sure if there has ever been a
successful WMF GSoC project where the idea was the student's own - other
than in cases where the student was already part of the MediaWiki
community. Which makes sense: if a student's only experience with MediaWiki
is, say, reading and writing wiki articles, then chances are good that
whatever they find annoying is something that many other people also find
annoying, and thus would have been fixed already if it were easy to fix.

bawolff also wrote:

As for users sticking around - I think the communication around gsoc
> has shifted from "Here's some money so you can work on MediaWiki
> without starving to death" to "Here's a little money and a job so you
> can put something cool on your resume". If students are being
> attracted to the program principally to have something on their resume
> or for the money (To be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong
> with that), its not surprising that they leave afterwards when the
> money goes away. If we want to attract people in the long term, we
> should probably come up with a better carrot.


Yes, this is absolutely the issue. I don't know if there's a lower
"conversion" percentage now than there used to be, but certainly to
convince people to do free labor for you, especially if their first
experience with you involved payment, seems difficult. That's assuming that
free labor is the ultimate goal, as opposed to, say, finding more people
for the WMF to hire. More on that below.

Tony Thomas wrote:

I would want to agree to disagree at places like - 'hiring everyone of
> them' or things like that. If we are talking about making people stick,
> the model I am talking about would be a *cheaper *option ?


I assume that's a reference to what I wrote, although I certainly didn't
say to hire everyone - I said "students who had useful projects". I don't
know which option would be cheaper - hiring some of the students or setting
up a new mentorship program - but the main question is really what the goal
is. Is it to get more free labor over the long term? If so, I don't know if
either option is that effective. Personally, I think it's great if such
projects result in actually useful software, and it's a shame if that
software goes uncompleted or abandoned at the end of the program.

-Yaron

--
WikiWorks · MediaWiki Consulting · http://wikiworks.com
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Engaging student devs with another outreach event like GSoC, GCI

Srishti Sethi
Hello hive,

Greetings! It’s been amazing reading everyone's responses so far to this
thread! Thank you, Tony, for starting this discussion! :) I think the goals
that you are pointing to are important.

Although, I haven’t been part of the Wikimedia’s participation in GSOC in
the past, as an ex-GSOCer I am quite familiar with the program. Sharing a
few concerns/ additional thoughts below:

- I think that the beauty of the GSOC program is that it gives students the
autonomy (unlike any other academic/ non-academic program in developing
nations) to choose projects they are interested in working on, and that are
a good fit with their skill set. It is a unique program that I think
exposes students to a lot of the areas all at once: communication, software
development, research, documentation, etc. I feel that GSOC and similar
outreach programs, have played a vital role in students lives and to some
extent helped them in taking decisions about their next career steps. At
this year’s LinuxCon Karen Sandler tweeted: *“so fun seeing how many women
at #LinuxCon got their start with @outreachy!” *

From this email thread: it’s great to learn about the initiatives/efforts
that are run before GSOC to reach out to diverse audiences and spread more
awareness. But I am not sure how I feel about running competitive programs
and training and reaching out to students through the faculties in the
universities. I am worried that GSOC would become another milestone that
students are expected to serve as part of their academic curriculum in the
years to come. It would be great if we keep the participation in this
program a personal choice, and as interest-driven as possible :)

-  A lot of former GSOCers run an outreach session ahead of the program in
their universities or their circles. Most of the times, the message which
by mistake gets delivered, set false expectations, motivations, and hopes
among prospective students. For example: "If you participate, you will get
money, will get to travel to conferences, or you might end up working for
the organization." It's a bit of a cultural issue. Still, we do not want
students to be joining us for the program with any false motivation. I
wonder if we could run a cultural orientation for our incoming students to
make them understand our community better, encourage the spirit of learning
more than anything else and help set the expectations right. :) So that
when they begin to do outreach after they finish, they are acutely aware of
the dos and the donts.

- I am sure we have some amazing mentors, who put a lot of effort all
throughout the program right from framing the GSOC project to mentoring
students. I understand that allowing beginners to propose an idea does not
make sense. But still, I wonder if while preparing a project idea, we as
mentors ask ourselves: "how would a project proposal look like such that
besides benefiting our community, would be interesting enough to keep a
student engaged and motivated all throughout?", "Will the student involved
in the project get something out of it?",  and "What deliverables could
make a project deployable at the end so that it's a satisfying experience
for both the parties?".

- Codeheat is an interesting initiative, but I think running something
which requires almost the same level of efforts as GSOC would be hard to
coordinate.

*Here is a summary and a few action steps that we could consider:*

- Conduct cultural orientation for incoming GSOCers so that they understand
our communities and the values we share. So that when they begin to the
outreach after they finish, they convey the message right.

- Encourage awareness about our community/ projects among students much
ahead of GSOC so that students have enough understanding of the project,
have already contributed in advance of the contest, and this way we could
get better quality proposals.

- Encourage weekly check-ins, or updates through IRC/ online gatherings
where students could get an opportunity to share their GSOC work with each
other verbally.

- Invite recent GSOC students to be mentors for the GCI/ Outreachy. Some of
which we have been already doing and did very recently this year for GCI
<https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/T148952>.

- Mentors frame proposals which are interesting enough to keep our students
motivated, ensure a student's work get deployed to the production.  And,
our mentors ask: "What would a student get out of this? What will they
learn?".

- Lastly, we let the program more interest-driven, rather than making any
piece of it mandatory :)


Questions, feedback, most welcomed! :)

Cheers,
Srishti

--
Srishti Sethi
Developer Advocate
Technical Collaboration team

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/User:SSethi_(WMF)

On Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 9:08 PM, Yaron Koren <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> bawolff wrote:
>
> I actually disagree somewhat - I think it can be very rewarding to fix
> > a problem that you yourself have, as opposed to fixing somebody else's
> > problem. This is a traditional ideology about open source - that it is
> > all about scratching your own itch.
>
>
> > Although arguably most gsoc students coming up with their own projects
> > aren't actually scratching their own itch but desperately trying to
> > come up with an idea. However, if someone happens to be a preexisting
> > user of MediaWiki, and finds something they find super annoying, I
> > think that can make for a very good project.
>
>
> In theory this is true. In practice, I'm not sure if there has ever been a
> successful WMF GSoC project where the idea was the student's own - other
> than in cases where the student was already part of the MediaWiki
> community. Which makes sense: if a student's only experience with MediaWiki
> is, say, reading and writing wiki articles, then chances are good that
> whatever they find annoying is something that many other people also find
> annoying, and thus would have been fixed already if it were easy to fix.
>
> bawolff also wrote:
>
> As for users sticking around - I think the communication around gsoc
> > has shifted from "Here's some money so you can work on MediaWiki
> > without starving to death" to "Here's a little money and a job so you
> > can put something cool on your resume". If students are being
> > attracted to the program principally to have something on their resume
> > or for the money (To be clear, I'm not saying there is anything wrong
> > with that), its not surprising that they leave afterwards when the
> > money goes away. If we want to attract people in the long term, we
> > should probably come up with a better carrot.
>
>
> Yes, this is absolutely the issue. I don't know if there's a lower
> "conversion" percentage now than there used to be, but certainly to
> convince people to do free labor for you, especially if their first
> experience with you involved payment, seems difficult. That's assuming that
> free labor is the ultimate goal, as opposed to, say, finding more people
> for the WMF to hire. More on that below.
>
> Tony Thomas wrote:
>
> I would want to agree to disagree at places like - 'hiring everyone of
> > them' or things like that. If we are talking about making people stick,
> > the model I am talking about would be a *cheaper *option ?
>
>
> I assume that's a reference to what I wrote, although I certainly didn't
> say to hire everyone - I said "students who had useful projects". I don't
> know which option would be cheaper - hiring some of the students or setting
> up a new mentorship program - but the main question is really what the goal
> is. Is it to get more free labor over the long term? If so, I don't know if
> either option is that effective. Personally, I think it's great if such
> projects result in actually useful software, and it's a shame if that
> software goes uncompleted or abandoned at the end of the program.
>
> -Yaron
>
> --
> WikiWorks · MediaWiki Consulting · http://wikiworks.com
> _______________________________________________
> Wikitech-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
>
_______________________________________________
Wikitech-l mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l