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Rohan Lekhwani
Rohan Lekhwani

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at rohanlekhwani.Medium

Google Summer of Code: How to Ensure a Successful Community Bonding Period

Ever wondered what the 21 day GSoC Community Bonding period is about and how to make the most of it?

You’ve made it to Google Summer of Code — the ultimate open-source development opportunity for students around the world.

Now What?

You are automatically entered into a phase called — Community Bonding Period on your dashboard and your GSoC summer officially kicks in.

If you opt-in you’ll be added to two mailing lists — the GSoC Students List comprising of all the GSoC students accepted this season and the GSoC Alumni list which consists of the 10,000+ GSoCers throughout the history of GSoC.

GSoC Profile with the ability to opt into mailing lists

You would also receive a mail with a customized link to set-up your Payoneer account to recieve your stipend.

In case you’re aspiring to be a GSoCer you can bookmark this doc to see what mails are sent by the GSoC organizers.

What you should do to ensure a successful Community Bonding Period

Set-up Clear Communication with Mentors

It’s likely that you’ve interacted with your mentors through text during the application period. Now is the time to get to know them better and there’s nothing better than a one-on-one video call.

Schedule weekly one-on-one meets with your mentors. Doing this ensures both of you take out time from your schedules and meet at least once a week. This helps in preventing miscommunications and sudden revelations of misunderstandings.

If possible, also form a channel on any IRC your organization uses or else creating one on Rocket.Chat is always a good idea.

I meet my mentor — Ramkumar KB every Friday at 1 PM.

Get Tasks Prioritized

It’s been a month since you submitted your proposal. A lot has changed.

Maybe a dependency on which a feature you’re about to implement is now deprecated. Maybe your organization needs a feature in your proposal implemented urgently.

It is important to prioritize your implementation tasks for the upcoming coding period.

I asked my mentor to set-up a Project Roadmap Board on GitHub to keep track of progress.

GitHub Project Roadmap for my GSoC project

Learn your stack

You might not have coded in a particular language required for your project before. Or you might not be familiar with how things work out internally.

In my case I had just finished building MemeBuddy and was getting started with Typescript and the Rocket.Chat Apps Engine.

You should ask your mentors for resources to learn and they’ll be more than happy to help you out. Even if you feel you have experience working on a particular stack, ask them for resources and you’ll be amazed how much you still don’t know compared to your mentors (they’re mentors for a reason :P ).

The community bonding period is the best time to get yourself boosted before the coding period starts.

My awesome mentor sent me resources to learn Typescript. I’ve shared them at the end of the article for those interested in learning Typescript.

Start Coding Already

If you’re done with all the planning why not start coding already?

You’ll not only get a buffer at the end but also get a chance to try out newer approaches you didn’t mention in your proposal.

I started working on my target for Week 1 of the Coding Period a week before the Coding Period actually started. Lo and behold:

My first GSoC PR (Now Merged)

I had my first GSoC PR raised before the week ended.

This was the second article of my GSoC journey at Rocket.Chat. I’m writing biweekly blogs. Follow my voyage on Medium and Devpost. ⭐

In case you haven’t checked out the previous blog about How I Got Selected into Google Summer of Code, hit the link below:

How I Got Selected into Google Summer of Code

Here are the resources that were shared with me by my mentor for learning Typescript. I found them pretty useful.

Typescript Handbook

Typescript Exercises

Typescript Weekly

Like what I do? Help me pull my next all-nighter. Consider buying me a coffee.🥤

Rohan Lekhwani is an open source contributor and enthusiast. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, GitHub, Twitter, and his website.

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