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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject [DISCUSS] Participate in another GSoC like project
Date Mon, 25 Jun 2012 12:25:14 GMT
Some may recall that I kept promising the arrival of students from an
EU Commission project on a GSoC style pilot in formal education. This
was a very long way from successful but there was zero impact on our
projects since we asked PMCs to mark GSoC level projects as "mentor".
This enabled us to provide a list of suitable projects for the
students without PMCs needing to do additional work.

I've now been approached by another EU Commission project proposal
team that wants to do something similar, but this time with students
doing the work as part of their assessed coursework (i.e. they have a
strong motivation for doing the work). Another, big difference this
time is that one of the partner organisations has ASF committers (2
of) and there are three open source savvy commercial organisations on
the bid (DISCLOSURE: one of them is my little consultancy company).

Given the way these proposals get written, there is a very tight
deadline on this (2 days). I got a first draft of the proposal this
weekend and I am now satisfied that what is being asked of associate
partners is acceptable (i.e we won't be responsible for students
education). However, there isn't enough time for a proper discuss then
vote process. I'm therefore running these in parallel.

If anyone has *any* serious concerns about rushing like this please
vote -1 and I'll go back to plan B which is simply to highlight my
engagement with the ASF as an individual. Note that I will not be
voting given the obvious conflict of interest. However, if the funding
is approved I will be taking full responsibility for all aspects of
administration within the ASF (and other associate partners). Note I
have also notified board@ and will cancel the vote if the board raises
a concern.

In terms of deliverables from the project think of GSoC where the
students get credits towards their degree rather than cash (Semester
of Code rather than Summer of Code). If successful the project will
provide a "manual" for other universities wishing to offer such real
world experience to their students.

Our PMCs will choose to offer mentors based on the quality of student
applications - if there are no students that look interesting we have
no further commitments.

Here is the text of the letter of intent I propose to sign if the
ComDev PMC approves:

---- start copied text ---

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) provides support for the Apache
community of open-source software projects. That community provide
software products for the public good. The ASF is made up of over 100
top level projects that cover a wide range of technologies. Chances
are that if anyone is looking for a rewarding experience in Open
Source, you are going to find it here.

The Apache projects are defined by collaborative consensus based
processes, an open, pragmatic software license and a desire to create
high quality software that leads the way in its field. We are
recognized as one of the most influential software organisations of
our time and are often seen as the "gold standard" of open source
software development.

We have participated in the Google Summer of Code programme since its
inception and continue to mentor around 40 students per year. We have
had great success with this programme with some of our earliest
students still working with us.

The OSKA project has the potential to extend the benefits of the
Google Summer of Code programme into formal education whilst still
allowing our communities to work alongside students in real world open
source projects. As a voluntary organisation we cannot guarantee that
students will succeed, but we can provide an environment in which  any
sufficiently able
student will find our projects supportive and educational. We look
forward to extending our Google Summer of Code efforts to support the
OSKA trial.

Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)

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