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Summer of WordPress 2010: Act II

Posted March 29, 2010 by Jen. Filed under Community, Development.

Scene: A college classroom

Professor: So. Out of the 20 students in the class, half wrote WordPress Summer of Code proposals good enough to receive an A. How many of you are planning to apply for the program?

Jack, a student: I am. They opened applications today.

Sophie, a student: I am. And that sentence was grammatically terrible.

Jack: Shut up.

Chris, a student: I’m not applying.

Jack (to Chris): Chicken?

Sophie: You’re such a jerk! Maybe he has a job lined up or something, did you ever think of that?

Professor: Whoa –

Chris: Actually, I’m going backpacking in Australia with my Dad. No internet for about half the time, and when I emailed the people at WordPress they said I should probably wait until next year to apply and make sure I’d be able to be online through the whole summer.

Professor: Fair enough. The application period opens today at 19:00 UTC and goes through April 9th, so let’s hear from the people who are applying.

Jack: I’m submitting mine today.

Sophie: That’s just stupid.

Andrea, a teacher’s assistant: Hey, that’s not necessary.

Jack: Yeah! The early bird gets the worm, or hadn’t you heard?

Sophie: What I heard was that the WordPress mentors are holding open IRC chats this week to talk to prospective students and give them feedback on proposals and ideas, and that talking directly to the mentors ups your chances of being selected. But I guess you don’t think you need the people who are actually choosing the students to know your name because your proposal is so brilliant?

Jack’s jaw drops.

Jack: Where did you hear that? It wasn’t on the GSoC mailing list.

Sophie: I joined the wp-hackers list and asked all the core contributors for feedback on my idea, and then I emailed 3 potential mentors to see what they thought of it personally. By the time applications are due, I’ll have revised it based on community and mentor feedback, and enough people will know who I am — and that I’m full of initiative — that my chances of being accepted will be much better.

Jack: You think you’re all Felicia Day with your MW2 level 70, but you’re just a computer nerd.

Sophie: Um, duh. We’re in an advanced computer programming class. We’re all computer nerds.

Professor: Now, now. Sophie’s correct; talking to community members and mentors will improve her chances. But, Jack, there’s no reason you can’t join the IRC chats and the mailing list to get your name out there, too, even if you submit your application today. Most proposals get tweaked a bit after the students are chosen anyway.

Sophie: Plus, Felicia Day is awesome! And she uses WordPress, so ha!

End Act II.

Here’s the deal. The application period opens today. Early applications will likely get a bit more attention up front, but it’s also important that your ideas and approach are vetted by the community and the mentors. If you haven’t already, you should join the wp-hackers mailing list and send your proposal to the list for feedback. We’ll also be doing a few IRC chats during the application period to give students a chance to talk directly with the mentors. Note that not every mentor will attend all three chats, so if you want to talk to a specific person, you might want to email them. Please arrive on time to the chats, as they will be scheduled for an hour, and will have to accommodate multiple students. IRC chats will be held at irc.freenode.net in room #wordpress-gsoc.

  • Wednesday, March March 31 at 20:30 UTC (4:30pm eastern)
  • Saturday, April 3 at 21:30 UTC (5:30pm eastern)
  • Wednesday, April 7 at 20:30 UTC (4:30pm eastern)

This chat room will remain open during the application period, and various mentors and community members may be there and able to answer questions, but the scheduled chats are the only official times at which they are scheduled to do so.

Oh, and if you want to help publicize the WordPress summer of code, grab a flyer and post it somewhere on a bulletin board at your local college campus. Professors, don’t forget to encourage your brightest students to apply!

Summer of WordPress 2010: Act I

Posted March 21, 2010 by Jen. Filed under Community, Development.

Scene: A college classroom

Professor: Is anyone here applying for Google Summer of Code this year? If so, see me after class to discuss getting independent study credit toward your degree.

Jack, a student: Isn’t that a really hard program to get into? Like, hard like getting to level 70 in Modern Warfare 2?

Sophie, a student: I went past 70, I prestiged.

Jack (turning to Sophie): Shut up, you did not!

Sophie: I did, too!

Professor: Not the point, kids. So who’s going to try for a GSoC spot?

Andrea, a teacher’s assistant: There are some great open source projects participating this year. I’d love to see someone from this class get in on the WordPress project.

Jack: WordPress is awesome, but my friend Billy didn’t get chosen by them last year.

Sophie: Billy’s not as smart as he thinks he is.

Jack: You think you could do better?!

Sophie: Of course I do! Any primate could do better than Billy! Or you, for that matter!

Jack: What? I would so beat you out in a coding competition!

Andrea: Sounds like we have the makings of a friendly classroom competition, Prof.

Professor: I think you’re right, Andrea. Tell you kids what. They announce the students who’ve been accepted on April 26th, which is before the semester ends. Let’s turn this into a class project.

Jack (raising a suspicious eyebrow): How do you mean?

Professor: As a class assignment, everyone has one week to write a project proposal for the Google Summer of Code, specific to the WordPress project. The proposals will be graded like a regular assignment. Anyone who gets an A on the proposal can use me as a reference if they apply with the proposal to WordPress and Google for the program. The application deadline is April 9, so you’ll have time to revise your application after it’s been graded.

Sophie: What’s in it for us?

Andrea: If you’re successful in GSoC you earn $5000 for the summer.

Sophie (smirking, to Jack): That’s more than you’ll make working the hot dog cart by City Hall.

Jack: You wish. I’m totally getting in, and you’ll be on the hot dog cart this year.

Professor: And as I was starting to say in the first place, a GSoC project would qualify for independent study credit. Tell you what, as an added bonus, anyone who actually gets accepted into the WordPress GSoC program will get extra credit points on their year end average.

Sophie (perking up): Really? I’m in!

Jack: No way, they’ll choose me first!

Stay tuned for the continuing adventures of Jack and Sophie as they navigate the course of applying to Google Summer of Code to work with WordPress.

That’s right, WordPress is honored to be among the 150 open source organizations chosen to participate in Google Summer of Code this year. Students work on WordPress projects over the summer under the guidance of mentors from among the WordPress core developers, and if they complete their projects successfully Google pays them $5000! Talk about a win-win. Last year’s projects led to some very cool code being created, like the new search API targeted for version 3.0 and the Elastic theme generator.

Professors: Help us and your students by telling them about GSoC and encouraging them to apply. Consider having them write a WordPress plugin or core patch as a class assignment so they can get to know the codebase. Offer to sign on as an adviser for a summer independent study so they can get credit for their work with GSoC.

Students: Check out our Ideas page, and start thinking about projects you’d like to propose. Watch this space for an announcement of some live chat information sessions where you can ask potential mentors questions and get feedback on your pre-proposal ideas. This program is competitive, but is one of the best opportunities out there when it comes to programming. You get real-world experience as a member of an open source community, you make decent money, you make connections with industry leaders, and you get the attention of Google. Not to mention some serious bragging rights. What are you waiting for? Applications will be accepted from March 29-April 9, so start thinking about a project now!


OMG WordPress BBQ!

Posted March 13, 2010 by Jen. Filed under Events.

OMG WordPress BBQ logoThis weekend, thousands of WordPress users and developers are among the people attending the South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive conference in Austin, TX. To celebrate this, we’re throwing a WordPress BBQ at SxSW tomorrow so that there’s a place for us all to get together.

If you’re a WordPress fan attending SxSW (or you just happen to be in Austin), please join us for lunch after 12pm* tomorrow, Sunday March 14. We’re getting the BBQ from Rudy’s and the red velvet cake from Central Market. Yum! Come, eat, talk about the cool things you’re doing with WordPress, let us know what we can do better, gossip about Mark Jaquith’s new hairstyle, whatever. Think of it like a WordCamp without presentations. I’ll be there, lead developers Mark Jaquith and Ryan Boren will be there, core contributors will be there, plugin and theme developers will be there, and basically all the most intelligent and attractive people from SxSW will be there. You should be, too!

Location: Conjunctured coworking space, 1309 East 7th St., Austin, TX 78702. From the convention center, walk up to 7th Street, hang a right, and walk until you get to #1309. If you’re tired of walking, taking a cab is a decent option. Note that this is on the other side of I-35 from the convention center.

* We’ll keep serving until we run out of food, so probably until around 2 or 3? We’ll have a hundred pounds of bbq meat, a bunch of sides, and dozens of gallons of iced tea, so come hungry.

Firefox Personas, WordPress-style

Posted March 11, 2010 by Jen. Filed under Cousins.

We recommend open source software whenever we can, and the Firefox browser from Mozilla is one of our favorites. Firefox 3.6 recently came out with persona support, allowing users to skin their browsers with favorite designs and brands. WordPress users everywhere seem to love the W symbol (at WordCamps it shows up on everything from t-shirts to iPhone skins), so it was only natural that WordPress personas would come along.

To kick it off, designer Chad Pugh created two WordPress personas based on the WordPress brand: “Vintage Press” and “Inkwell.” These two designs are a great way to show the WordPress love, even if you’re only showing it to yourself. 🙂

Vintage Press Persona The “Vintage Press” Persona is inspired by the style of old-fashioned printing presses and the mechanics of working with type. This persona might appeal to WordPress developers and users who appreciate the way things work under the hood.
 
“Inkwell” is more of a palimpsest* & watercolor hybrid that might appeal to the artists among us. Music, script and spills of color combine… Inkwell Persona

Okay, I’m starting to feel like an art critic so I’ll stop there. Check out the WordPress personas for Firefox and decide for yourselves.

* I never thought I would have occasion to use the word “palimpsest” in a dev blog post. Never.

See Also:

Want to follow the code? There’s a development P2 blog and you can track active development in the Trac timeline that often has 20–30 updates per day.

Want to find an event near you? Check out the WordCamp schedule and find your local Meetup group!

For more WordPress news, check out the WordPress Planet or subscribe to the WP Briefing podcast.

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