Saturday, April 09, 2011

The Selection Phase

I'm pleased to welcome all of our talented 42 proposing students for another edition of Google/Umit Summer of Code! We're looking for an awesome Summer of Code, and with the students we have at hand, I'm pretty sure we will!

As first thing, I would like to congratulate you all for been here. Though we're not past the selection phase yet, you are already a winner. Most people don't even take the time post their proposal and take the risks. But remember: "If you don't risk anything, you risk even more. (Erica Jong)". So, glad to have winners with us on board, and looking forward for having you all involved with Umit and our goals on helping people by delivering good software.

Our goal now is to get to know each other, have you guys to know the project better (hey, you've got to know if you want to work with us!) and get everyone selected for our Summer programs.

So that you all know, Umit Project is a project that started with Google Summer of Code 2005 when I participated as a student for Insecure.org developing the Umit Network Scanner. I participated again as a student in 2006, and in 2007 I founded the Umit Project Open Source Organization, and we began to participate as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code.

As you all know, Google's resources aren't infinite, and they can't afford to have us mentoring all students that apply. We're extremely happy with whatever amount of slots they give us, but at the other hand we feel sorrow for having to let go so many talented students that otherwise could be here helping us change something in the world. For this reason, in 2009 we inaugurated our own Summer of Code program, called Umit Summer of Code. The goal is the same, but since we don't make any money as an organization, we can't afford to award our students with money. Instead, we offer Google swag (the t-shirt and perhaps something else - Special thanks to Ellen Ko and Carol Smith from Google, that have always cared about USoC and provided all support we needed to help our students), 2 mentors, participation certificate and recommendation letters for all of the participants. In addition, we also offer all the meanings for launching your project in a well stablished Open Source Community and help you guys spread the word about it once it is delivered. We know that money is a strong motivation, and even a meaning for having you guys to dedicate the time on our project, but USoC has proven that money isn't everything. Though not officially in Umit Summer of Code, Devtar participated in 2007 as a volunteer writing the Bluetooth Scanner, in 2008 after showing his talents with his volunteer work, he was chosen as a student for Google Summer of Code and the other year he became a mentor for Umit Project. We have also Niteesh and Ganja, that we couldn't accept for GSoC, but decided to participate as USoC students last year. They conducted an awesome job with the proposal they set themselves to accomplish, and they're back this year willing to participate once again as *USoC* students. These guys inspire the Open Source Community!

It is not a requirement to work first on USoC and then on GSoC. But if it happens that we can't have you for GSoC, try your best to stick with us on USoC and we'll make our best to pay back your efforts!

So, this is how it is going to work this year: We've got 42 students and 8 mentors, but we don't know how many slots Google will be able to grant us with. We'll do our best to select the students based on their participation during the selection phase (that ranges from today to April 22), by interacting, asking you questions about your proposals and your background and evaluating your participations in our hackathon (http://trac.umitproject.org/wiki/hackathon - We have one going on just *right now*). Then, we'll figure how many slots Google has to offer us, and we'll finish the ranking by selecting the projects that makes more sense for the organization. The makes more sense, is a balance between interest of the organization in the project and the evaluation of the students we have at hand to develop the given project. Google is been very generous to us, and we can't afford to have students into GSoC that we may feel that are going to fail or quit. If you (or we) are in doubt, then we have USoC for getting to know each other a bit better, and still have everyone getting most of the benefits of the GSoC program. But again, if you don't make it into GSoC, it doesn't mean that we don't trust you'll make it. We have limited slots for GSoC and several aspects to evaluate in order to prioritize the slots.

We wish you all a great Summer! Let's work hard together, and we may contribute with valuable software to the world!

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