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How I ended up at GSoC

How I ended up at GSoC

My Google Summer Of Code Journey, experience and takeaways

Satwik Kansal

March 20, 2018
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  1. How I ended up at GSoC

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  2. Before college
    What is the most geekiest thing
    that you’ve ever done in
    computers?

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  3. Level 1:
    Change the color of taskbar to “Olive
    green”
    Level 2:
    leavemealone, panzer, comeflywithme
    Level Max:
    Protect confidential information

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  4. Enter college...

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  5. We all have multiple
    voices within us...

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  6. My views about Open Source?
    - What do I get? Ain’t got no time to work for free.
    - The codebase is huge, I don’t understand a shit
    - I can’t do build on Windows? No thanks.
    - I need to install linux, learn git, X language, Y framework, a long way to
    go…
    - How do I build this thing? The builds fail :(
    - IRC is boring. Why are people too busy to respond?
    - Do I really need to do all this? Why can’t things be simple?

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  7. My views about Google Summer Of Code?
    - Stipend? I can buy a car with that.
    - Stickers, T-shirts, other swags. Well, that’s something to show off!
    - Wow, it has “Google” in it. I’ll add it to my CV.
    - Long story short, my life would be better, somehow

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  8. First attempt at GSoC

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  9. Python
    Angular
    Google App Engine
    The project builds?
    Picking my Dream project

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  10. First Pull Request

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  11. Task: Fetch and save an image from a url in
    Python
    3 days, 51 lines of
    code, 11 commits.

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  12. And 51 review comments!

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  13. What next?
    I submitted a proposal anyway (optimism), and surprisingly….

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  14. I didn’t make it.
    And after a few months of inactivity....

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  15. Views about GSoC - part two
    - Wisdom from part 1
    +
    - I did terribly last time. I had to do something.
    - I didn’t wanted to work for a health insurance company.
    - Competitive programming is not my cup of tea.
    - Zomato hires GSoCers.
    =
    I got a New Year resolution.

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  16. Enter 2017...

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  17. Contributed to 6 projects
    Project 1: Won’t build at all.
    Project 2: Didn’t actually had any project to build and work.
    Project 3: Built, but poor code. So I rejected.
    Project 4: Google rejected it.
    Project 5: Was accepted for first time. Also, felt cool.
    Project 6: Had the most active community.

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  18. 5 months of effort, 3
    proposals, and then...

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  19. Phew… Selected!

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  20. What GSoC taught me?
    - How to develop real world softwares that thousands of people use.
    - Writing code matters, but being able to read and review other people’s
    code matters even more.
    - Made me regular with writing and maintaining my blog.
    - That things may seem daunting and huge first, but if you try to stick with
    it, they become much easier.
    - Proper design and tests are there for a very good reason.
    - GSoC a full time thing. Think thrice, before doing it with an internship.

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  21. What if I didn’t get into GSoC?
    Actually, it’s the experience of contributing to Open Source projects that
    helped me a lot.
    - Writing efficient code
    - Community
    - People smart than me to work with
    - Pushing me for things that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.
    - Internships, freelancing, conferences, etc

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  22. And this is what Open Source gave me back...

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  23. A few common things
    Don’t ask to ask! Also, don’t ask to select.
    People will often help only when you actually need help.
    The more you help others, the more you’ll be helped.
    Having a quality proposal is way more important than number of commits or
    Lines of Code merged.

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  24. Thank you!
    A bit about me...
    - Final year undergrad, DTU
    - Freelance Software Developer
    (Data Science and Blockchain
    Technologies)
    - GSoC 17, GCI 17 mentor,
    GSoC 18 mentor
    https://satwikkansal.xyz
    Handle: @satwikkansal

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