GSoC Students: No one is going to steal your idea!
There have been a number of potential GSoC students asking potential WordPress mentors to look over their applications privately before they are submitted, as the students are afraid someone will steal their idea.
- This is not the way to approach applying; please use the requested forms of contact at this time — wp-hackers for feedback on your general idea and/or popping into #wordpress-gsoc on irc.freenode.net to talk to a live person. We are in the process of scheduling a handful of IRC chats for later this week and next with specific mentors, where students will be able to ask more questions directly. In the meantime, please stick to the above methods of contact rather than bombarding individual mentors with email.
- This is open source. There’s no such thing as idea theft — the whole point is to continually build on and improve each others’ ideas. Put your ideas out there. The application template asks you to link to where you’ve posted your idea on your blog and/or in a wp-hackers thread, so you pretty much HAVE to put it out there to be considered by us, and if you think someone stole your idea, you can clearly point to where you posted it first. However, this has NEVER been an issue before, and I’m not sure why it’s suddenly such a concern this year. If you don’t like the idea of discussing ideas in the open, then why apply to work with open source? We like to see applications where students have gotten lots of feedback on their idea, and if relevant, have incorporated suggestions into the final proposal, as we don’t develop in a vacuum.
Have you looked at our application template yet? We care about the idea, yes, but even more we care about proof that you know what you’re doing with WordPress, specifically via submitting a core patch or two, which is listed in the application template with sample tickets. Patches are basically being used as litmus tests to judge your skill and style, as applications can be written to sound great by people who can’t deliver. If you submit an application without ever having attempted any of the requested patches, your application will automatically be ranked lower than applications from students who did submit patches.
So, here is the absolute best advice for getting accepted with WordPress for GSoC this year:
- Know PHP and the WordPress codebase.
- Attempt the test patches referenced in the application template, post patches to the trac ticket(s).
- Post your idea on a WordPress-powered blog, and link to the proposal in a post to the wp-hackers mailing list, asking for feedback.
- Follow things happening on trac and in #wordpress-dev to better understand what’s happening with current WordPress development.
- Ask questions in #wordpress-gsoc; watch for the posted public chat times coming up this week and attend when a mentor you’re interested in working with is scheduled to be there.
- Revise your plan as needed, fill in application before the deadline gets too close.
- Keep track of your application page, as mentors may ask you follow-up questions or request more information that we need to have before we are willing to consider your application. Respons to questions promptly.
- Make sure all information is complete before the deadline.
- If you have been talking with any particular mentor(s) in IRC, let them know when your application has been submitted.
Note: When writing your proposal, please be aware that we like to have the project functional by midterm, with the second half of gsoc spent polishing, testing, integrating (moving from plugin to core patch, etc), and revising. Please plan accordingly.