Your proposal may be one amongst many, so it's important to stand out from the crowd by submitting the best quality proposal you can. You don't necessarily need all the answers to the project challenges from the start because mentors will want to ask questions and make suggestions for improvements based on your initial submission. However, you can give mentors a really good feel for your enthusiasm and commitment by following the guidelines below.
To really make sure you stand out from the rest, have a go at coding either a problem linked with your chosen project or seek advice from the mentor about an existing issue you could have a go at resolving. There are a number of JIRA issues that are tagged as 'Available for Anyone' that you could look through and choose from. If you're not sure how to get started...
- Name, address, nationality, primary language spoken
- IM name and email address.
- Any other ways we can contact you, eg, Skype, Twitter etc
- Name of your school and the course you are studying including your major, your expected graduation date and degree type (BSc, PhD etc)
- Copy of or link to your CV, blog pages etc
- Where you will be located during the 3 months of GSoC.
Project choice reasons, relevant skills, experience and knowledge
- Which project you are interested in, why you are interested in it and why you are suitable to complete it.
- Which coding languages you have experience of using and indicate how they might be relevant to the project.
- Indicate whether you have any prior knowledge of or experience with HPCC Systems.
- Do you have any experience of working with any other open source projects?
- Show your understanding of the project in detail, indicating what the deliverables would be and how you would achieve them.
- Provide code examples and show your knowledge of any equations, formulae or approaches where relevant. This is particularly important for Machine Learning projects.
- Undoubtedly, each project will have its own challenges. Show that you are aware of these challenges and indicate how you might overcome them.
- Once you have submitted a proposal, use the comments sections to ask questions of mentors and discuss ideas that might help you develop and improve your proposal.
- Mentors may ask questions and make suggestions for improvements. Please respond as quickly as possible and make sure that you update your proposal with your changes.
- Show that you have thought about how you will spend your time by supplying an expected timeline for each week during the coding period with milestones.
- How many hours per day you intend to spend working on the project? Remember that Google expects this to be your only job during the coding period and requires that you spend 40 hours per week on the project.
- Be honest about any other commitments you may have over the coding period.
- Did you apply to GSoC last year? Were you successful? If yes, tell us about your project and how it went.
And finally, a few 'don'ts':
- Don't enter a placeholder proposal. It gives a bad impression of poor time management, lack of real enthusiasm and poor organisation. We pass over them and concentrate on the rest.
- Don't just repeat the information shown on our GSoC Ideas List. Refer to it but then use your own ideas to show how you would tackle the problem and any challenges you might face.
- Don't wait until the last minute to submit. Mentors may have questions and comments and you might too. Submit in plenty time so you can respond and update your proposal with improvements.
- Don't submit and think that's it until acceptance. If a mentor asks a question, please respond in good time. Failure to respond indicates lack of interest and commitment and you will miss out on the opportunity to increase your chances of acceptance by improving your proposal.
- Don't give the impression that you are applying because someone told you it was a good idea, for example, your tutor. It's ok to say that it was recommended to you but go on and say why you like the idea, how you feel about being part of GSoC working on one of our projects and what you feel you will get out of the experience.