A couple of weeks ago, I found myself representing Joomla among 149 registered orgs and 329 selected mentors at the GSoC 2017 Mentor Summit, Sunnyvale, California. The summit was the final event and the conclusion of an intensive period of collaboration and volunteering that started at the beginning of the season with our participation in the Google Summer of Code.
The program is focused on introducing students to open source software development. Students work on a 3-month programming project with an open source organization during their break from university. Joomla has already participated in the program several times, but at this opportunity was my first mentorship as a member of the program. In this journey, I discovered how Google helps to the development of Open Source, mentoring the next generation of open source contributors and how organizations collaborate in the advancement of the community contributed code.
Serendipity at work
Around April 2017, just by chance, I answered a call from the team of GSoC administrators, who coordinate the program for Joomla as participating organization. This year, the objective was to develop several areas of my interest and I got interested in Web services for Joomla 4, a project aimed to create the official REST interface for the next major version of the CMS. Without thinking twice, I submitted my application. In a glimpse, I was onboard and not only participating as a mentor of the Web services In Joomla, but also joining a second project, Expand the Extension Manager. With the progress of both projects, it became clear that the first project was already well coordinated by George Wilson and supported by Matias Aguirre, and my experience in extension development and my position as a member of the Joomla Extension Directory would be more beneficial to the second project. So, I filled in the position of project leader of the GSoC EEM project, mainly to do the paperwork and complete the management burden of the project where Roland Dalmulder and Nicola Galgano were already doing the heavy work.
After the Community Bonding Period, the Coding began, 9 projects and 10 students, coordinated by a good number of mentors. All of us committed to collaborating with Joomla and joining forces for the progress of Open Source.
A world of Open Source software
After the implementation of the GSoC projects and the submission of the deliverables to Joomla core, I attended to the GSoC 2017 Mentor Summit as representative of Joomla. The Mentor Summit is an annual unconference that every project participating in Google Summer of Code is invited to attend. In this event, the organizations participating in the program can present their experiences in the open source scene, share views and coordinate efforts to maximize the benefits of the program.
In this context, it surprised me how different the Open Source projects are. The reach of the program helps focused development efforts, that take place in an academic office, or worldwide multi-cultural systems, such as Joomla. Under this light, Joomla stands out as a large organization, supported by more than 1,000 volunteers and 200 user groups around the world.
The open source projects are so different that, in the same session, we could be discussing topics from fields like space, machine translation, 3D solid modeling, high energy physics, content management, genomics, robotics and computer vision, etc.
At the Joomla World Conference 2017 (Rome), we have finally met in person with our GSoC students. They shared their rich experiences along the summer of learning and discovering. Most of them started with only academic studies in software development and worked on the projects to gain real-world experience collaborating in the progress of open source technology.
Overall, the yearly objective, bringing students to the open source world, coding an open-source software project during the summer, is fulfilled successfully.
Now, a new phase is starting to renew our commitment, and we start to gather ideas for Joomla GSoC 2018.
If you are interested in participating as mentor or suggest a project, please, visit this form: Joomla GSoC Ideas 2018