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From Daniel Gruno <>
Subject Re: Does GSoC help develop communities?
Date Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:26:21 GMT
On 12/05/2016 03:46 PM, Shane Curcuru wrote:
> Ulrich Stärk wrote on 12/5/16 9:27 AM:
>> On 05.12.16 14:30, Daniel Gruno wrote:
>>> On 12/05/2016 01:41 PM, Ulrich Stärk wrote:
> ...snip...
>>> 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, how
>> ironic).
>> Let me take GSoC as an example again. As long as we have volunteer mentors from our
communities that
>> 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.
> ...snip...
> You both have excellent points.
> I believe GSoC is a very valuable program for the ASF and the projects
> that participate, and I really hope the volunteers stepping up to
> organize keep doing it.  I'll try to remember to thank you more often!
> Separately, it's great when we can also improve things, or at least show
> some sort of progress towards helping our project's communities grow.
> Given the rest of the organization that GSoC brings, and the fact that
> our LDAP and other records are getting pretty easy to script against, it
> would be great if some volunteer wanted to track people who became
> committers from GSoC to see their contributions in the future.
> But just because no-one has stepped up to do the metrics doesn't mean we
> should stop GSoC.  If people want to volunteer to do something that's
> generally positive, great.  Suggestions for improvements are good;
> getting in the way to slow progress because some additional goal hasn't
> yet attracted a volunteer to do it is not as good.

I don't think anyone has actively suggested we stop GSoC. But it would
be good to see more cohesion in ComDev and some discussions on what we
are doing, how it benefits our mission, and what the results are.

Rich's original question was "does it benefit the ASF?". We don't seem
to have bothered answering that question in a diligent matter over the
past years, and I think we should do so. If GSoC is as valuable as the
proponents say, then it should be easy to gather some more non-anecdotal
information that says "yes, this has helped develop the community".

I'd be super interested to learn what GSoC actually achieves, I have no
idea if it's just a charitable coding-for-money scheme or if it actually
helps grow our community in the long run. I also have no idea which
aspects the projects find most useful, and I'd love to learn that.

What I would be most interested in, however, is (as stated above) more
cohesion in what ComDev does and how it is done. There should be at
least some form of point of there being a PMC.

With regards,

> - Shane
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