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!