Endless Summer of Code
Building the Foundation of a Community Through Internship Programs like GSOC
Adam is a Seattle native. He co-founded SeaGL (Seattle GNU/Linux Conference) to bring a LFNW-type experience to Seattle and to entice RMS to lecture in Seattle. His day job is Senior Director of Engineering at C-SATS, a Seattle startup bringing AI to surgery for the best possible patient care. Adam values kindness above all else.
Description For open source projects, mature and young, we'll present how before, during, and after internship programs like Google Summer of Code, you can attract, identify, retain, and transform interns into long-term contributors to your project. We’ll examine the culture, commitment, and processes you need to unlock endless impact and enable a virtuous cycle that continually renews your community.
Abstract Participation in internship programs like GSOC are vital to the health of any OS project whether it's large and mature or small and nascent. It presents an opportunity to inject fresh blood and energy into the community while empowering senior members to give back and share their knowledge.
While the contributions during the summer itself are numerous and impactful, the greatest impact is the virtuous cycle that is unlocked and the process of renewal and organic growth enabled by turning interns into long-term contributors. You can truly build a foundation for your community in which you have a perpetual flow of dedicated community members that are ready to pass the torch on to the next generation.
We’ll examine the organizational culture, community commitment, and processes to have in place to achieve this.
As a veteran organization that's participated in GSOC for seven years now, we've been able to get impactful results from this program far beyond the summer by transforming our interns into long-term contributors and maintainers of our core software.
We've grown from two interns our first year to thirteen this past year but most importantly have been able to retain more than 2/3 of our interns as contributors to the community a year after their internship has concluded. Not only are they mere contributors, they've gone on to become the most passionate evangelists of our project, future mentors for other interns, and core maintainers and committers of our codebases.
Over the years, we've refined our processes before, during, and after GSOC to enable this:
- Identify & Attract - while selecting your interns, look for the students with the most passion and potential - sometimes the most loyal and committed contributors might not be the most skilled and experienced at the onset.
- Empower & Encourage - during the internship, make the student feel like they belong by immersing them, showing how they fit into the big picture, and giving them ownership and autonomy over their project.
- Recognize & Motivate - after their internship, always stay in touch show a true interest in their personal and professional growth and personally invite them with a specific role to stay involved. Publicly recognize their efforts and give professional incentives like recommendations and job referrals within the community.
We'll explore the dynamics of the incredibly strong culture and camaraderie amongst our GSOC students that makes them eager to help each other during the program and excited to welcome in new contributors after it.
- 45 min
- LinuxFest Northwest 2019