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From Rich Bowen <>
Subject Re: Does GSoC help develop communities?
Date Mon, 05 Dec 2016 16:54:30 GMT

On 12/05/2016 07:41 AM, Ulrich Stärk wrote:
>> 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
> 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?

Or, perhaps, let me give a different answer.

I participated in GSoC as a mentor for $WorkProject. While it didn't
"cost" me anything in dollars, it cost me probably 200 hours of my time.
I know that other projects at work put more time in, and some less.

This is an enormous cost to me, as an employee. So it behooves me to
measure the benefit to the project. A student received payment to write
code that was discarded. And I (and several of my colleagues) spent a
huge amount of time, which I could have spent on other things, mentoring
that student. Benefit to project, pretty heavily negative.

So, now, here we are at the ASF, doing GSoC with our projects, and
promoting it to them as a benefit. Does it actually benefit them, or is
it merely siphoning off time that could be spent on other things.

To folks that say we can't measure that, I strongly disagree. There are
two measures that are obvious and easy.

1) What % of GSoC student are still active on the project 6 months, 12
months, 18 months after the project. (We can debate the definition of
"active" all you like.

2) What % of code developed by GSoC students actually becomes a part of
the project codebase at the end of the project?

I would maintain that #1 is part of our charter as ComDev, and #2 is
part of what projects should be made aware of before they sign on.

Again, I'm really not asking for a lot of data here. But I do think that
it's part of a responsible accounting for participating in GSoC. If, for
example, it is actually hindering projects, don't we want to know that.

I did *not* participate in GSoC again, on $WorkProject, because it
clearly hindered my project.

Rich Bowen - - @rbowen - @apachecon

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