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From Ulrich Stärk <>
Subject Re: Does GSoC help develop communities?
Date Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:27:57 GMT
On 05.12.16 14:30, Daniel Gruno wrote:
> On 12/05/2016 01:41 PM, Ulrich Stärk wrote:
>> On 03.12.16 23:16, Rich Bowen wrote:
>>> So, this question was asked several weeks ago, and, so far, we have no
>>> statistics. I wonder if, now that there appears to be some interest
>>> around GSoC 2017 starting up, someone could look back at their notes and
>>> answer some of these questions.
>>> While it's cool that folks are spending time on GSoC, for the sake of
>>> GSoC, and of the students, it would also be awesome to know whether the
>>> time and money that the ASF puts into this is actually doing something
>>> towards the stated goal of Community Development.
>>> Or, at the very least, can we make a commitment to track this data going
>>> forward?
>> Let me play the devil's advocate here: What for?
>> GSoC is completely free for the ASF (on the contrary, we even get a small amount
for every accepted
>> student that we can than put towards fulfilling our goals) and as long as we have
volunteers willing
>> to organize it and mentor students we can assume that at least those volunteers are
seeing value in
>> it. Why the stats other than for satisfying our curiosity?
> Let's flip that around: If the ASF doesn't benefit in any way from this,
> why are we bothering with it? why is it the prominent (and in many cases
> the _only_) thing in our board reports?

I don't get this logic. Can you explain why the ASF isn't benefitting? Apparently our communities
are, otherwise we wouldn't see mentors willing to mentor students, no?

> Going back a few reports (those that are public at this date), they all
> seem to be either about starting, doing or concluding (which we have no
> data on) GSoC and then perhaps a small bit of extra data on all the
> rest. It is a VERY prominent thing, so why is that so?

Because apart from GSoC we don't seem to do any other structured efforts to report on. If
there has
been something noteworthy, it was in the reports (e.g. helpwanted, diversity efforts, etc.).
Sharan's diversity efforts are a the closest thing to a new structured effort. Her extensive
was included in our last board report.

> The task of ComDev is developing community. If we don't have any data or
> interest in acquiring such to show that this is in fact helping towards
> that, then we should consider whether the current strategy is the right
> thing to focus on.

Again. I strongly believe that there is no suitable metric for answering these kind of questions
except for indirectly through demand and I yet need to be convinced of the contrary.

> But this goes beyond GSoC in my mind. We should be looking at ALL ComDev
> projects and evaluate what we want to keep, what isn't working, and what
> needs a do-over. The task of ComDev is to *develop communities*, it
> shouldn't just be a dumping ground for all things cross-project, whether
> they work or not. That is at least my opinion.
> We try strategies, give them life, see if they work, and if not, we put
> them to sleep or fix them.

Geez, we are not maximizing for efficiency here (and that coming from a management consultant,

Let me take GSoC as an example again. As long as we have volunteer mentors from our communities
want to mentor students working on their projects than we IMO don't need any additional metric
or a
certain level of usefulness to justify running the program. Our communities think it is important
otherwise they wouldn't invest the time -, so should we.

Thinking this further we have already won when a student applies. They have interacted with
community, used the code, read documentation, maybe even already fixed some bug along the
way. IMO
that is also an important part of the community building. If a student sticks around than
that is
simply the icing on the cake and no metric whatsoever for the success of the program.



> With regards,
> Daniel.
>> Cheers,
>> Uli
>>> --Rich
>>> On 11/16/2016 05:18 AM, Nick Burch wrote:
>>>> On Wed, 16 Nov 2016, Rich Bowen wrote:
>>>>> It would be great to have some kind of statistics on how GSoC helps
>>>>> projects longer term. Do students stick around? Does the code written
>>>>> actually get incorporated into releases? Does it in fact contribute to
>>>>> the mission of Community Development, or is it just a nice summer job
>>>>> for these students?
>>>> Do we have a list (maybe somewhere in the comdev private svn?) of
>>>> everyone who has taken part in GSoC?
>>>> If so, it'd be fairly easy to annotate that with apache IDs, then see
>>>> who's now on PMCs or who's now a member. Producing sharable statistics
>>>> from that automatically is then easy. (I say this as someone who helped
>>>> update the similar Travel Assistance Committee / TAC ones on Monday!)
>>>> Not sure if it's easy to find out the "last commit date" for people, to
>>>> check for the "still around" part (eg for people who got committership
>>>> during GSoc, maybe on a branch), but I know where infra are to ask...
>>>> Nick
>>>> PS FWIW, within Tika we've certainly had a few GSoC people stick around!
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