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From Alex Harui <>
Subject Re: Does GSoC help develop communities?
Date Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:18:13 GMT
IMO, rather than gathering statistics, it would be better to gather
stories, tips and advice.  It doesn't seem to me that statistics would be
helpful, folks just need to know that it can have great benefits or great
cost and some ideas of the reasons why.  Even if it hasn't been helpful in
the past for the vast majority of ASF projects, if it benefits some other
minority of projects, the important takeaway is that it can work for
certain reasons, not that it isn't a good idea for your project because it
didn't work for most other projects.  Each project is different.

My 2 cents,

On 12/5/16, 9:10 AM, "Suresh Marru" <> wrote:

>Hi Rich,
>Do you prefer to see cumulative statistics or PMC wise? With a small
>effort, I can get detailed statistics from Apache Airavata. GSoC has been
>great for the project and is one of the primary sources to induct fresh
>blood. We have a decent retention rate, students have stayed around,
>earned committerships, then became PMC Members, graduated and moved onto
>real jobs and still continue to contribute (not always by code though).
>Engaging the students and mentoring them takes time, but we have spun it
>around and used it as an opportunity to improve documentation and
>contribution workflow.
>Hope  this experience summary helps the discussion, will be happy to
>elaborate and provide specific examples.
>> On Dec 5, 2016, at 12:01 PM, Rich Bowen <> wrote:
>> Nobody is suggesting we have a 10 year plan with milestones and
>> deliverables. I'm suggesting that when we do something under the heading
>> of "community development" we have an obligation to make some attempt to
>> measure it to determine if it actually moves us in that direction.
>> Nobody is saying that we shouldn't participate in GSoC. I'm suggesting
>> that before we promote GSoC to our projects, we should have some numbers
>> (we've been doing this for years. surely there's some numbers that we
>> could gather her?) that show projects that it's worth their time. Or
>> warns them that it might not be.
>> I don't care how much time individuals spend on GSoC. I care that we are
>> telling projects that it's a worthwhile thing for them to spend *their*
>> time on, and we don't appear to have actually taken the time to find out
>> of that's true.
>> On 12/05/2016 08:59 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> On Mon, Dec 5, 2016 at 2:30 PM, Daniel Gruno <>
>>>> ...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
>>>> that, then we should consider whether the current strategy is the
>>>> thing to focus on....
>>> I disagree with the need for comdev to have a strategy.
>>> At the technical level the ASF doesn't have a strategy, it just
>>> provides space for its projects to exist and flourish.
>>> I think comdev can operate in the same way, as a loose group of
>>> volunteers who collectively help develop communities, without
>>> necessarily having a global comdev strategy to follow.
>>> Three examples:
>>> 1) A small group is running GSoC, which as Uli mentions doesn't cost
>>> the ASF anything and actually brings some money in. GSoC clearly helps
>>> our mission by helping a few community members join the ASF every
>>> year. Exactly how many is not very important if volunteers agree to
>>> run it.
>>> 2) Sharan and others have started work on diversity initiatives -
>>> another subset of folks sharing common interests that match the
>>> overall comdev mission.
>>> 3) I led a small group to develop our maturity model, I think it's a
>>> very useful tool. I think we made just one change to it in 2016, it's
>>> stable but useful and maintained. Others don't care about that or
>>> didn't have time to help - no problem.
>>> You could argue that these things are disjoint but they are all small
>>> steps that help towards our overall mission. We don't need much
>>> coordination between them, IMO just making sure the comdev PMC agrees
>>> with these things happening, and doing out best to unify their
>>> communications channels to create synergies is good enough.
>>> Comdev can just provide a space for volunteers to help develop
>>> communities, that's good enough for me. If others want more structured
>>> activities feel free to do them but don't expect all PMC members to
>>> necessarily join or to feel bad if they don't.
>>> -Bertrand
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>> -- 
>> Rich Bowen - - @rbowen
>> - @apachecon
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