TL;DR: Send us your awesome project ideas and/or volunteer to be a mentor!
We need your ideas!
GSoC 2019 has been announced, and as in 2017 and 2018, InterMine will be applying again to become a mentor organisation. This means we’re back at the “we want your project ideas!” phase – and we do! If you work with or use an InterMine and have ideas for its improvement – might it be something big enough for a student to work on for three months? Any of these types of ideas would be great:
- An interesting exploratory project that answers a question – “is x likely to be possible or practical with InterMine?”
- Fixing something that’s always bothered you – in 2018, we managed this with the Solr Search update!
- A well-scoped application like the InterMine iOS app
Even if you don’t have time to mentor the project yourself, any ideas like this would be greatly appreciated! You can add them directly to the ideas doc, or feel free to contact us to chat about it more.
Could you mentor for an InterMine project?
In 2017 and 2018 we’ve had mentors from the community, including mentors who were previously GSoC students. Ideally, interested mentors should be known to us, perhaps because you are an InterMine user, developer/maintainer/administrator, or a previous student. If you don’t have any project ideas of your own, you may be able to pick one from the project list that suits your skills and interests.
What is mentoring like, you might ask? We have the basics set out in our mentor terms and conditions (which isn’t as dry as the title suggests). Some things to note:
- The busiest period is the application phase, when multiple students will be interacting with you to learn about and contribute to the community.
- After this, things calm down a lot. You’re expected to meet (virtually) with your student at least once a week for the three months of the coding phase. Proactive students often only need an hour or two here or there, but other students may need more hands-on attention.
- Students wages are paid by Google. Mentors also get a small stipend and thank-you gift after GSoC is complete.
- You’ll be paired with a Cambridge-based mentor for support, guidance, and cover while on vacation.
A great opportunity all around
GSoC as a program ends up being incredibly valuable two-way exchange. Students get three months of paid work experience at an open source organisation, and on the other side InterMine and InterMine mentors end up with the chance to guide projects and see some truly fantastic work implemented. Promising students might even end up applying for vacancies when they come up – it’s a great way to broaden your community!