Monday, March 31, 2008

Summer of Code adjustment

The Google Summer of Code deadline has been shifted one week forward. This means that students have until April 7 to submit their applications.

Submission status

We have so far received 38 proposals.
Some of them are excellent. Many are good. A few of them could be improved. If you have submitted a proposal without reading my recommendations you have now plenty of time to review your submission and adjust it for maximum quality.

Advice to students: how to get your application approved

Submitting an application is only the first step. If your proposal is weak, your chances of being chosen are limited. Now it's time to check the application and improve its contents, according to the guidelines mentioned above.
Now, pay attention. If you get a message from a mentor asking for additional material, it's a sign that your application is weak, and it may be discarded. Take those messages seriously, and try your best to comply.

Competition is fierce!

Even if you submitted a very good application, there is always a chance that someone else has submitted a better one for the same project, thus competing for the attention of the only mentor available for that task. Don't settle for "very good": sprint for excellence!

Size matters

A good application is neither too short or too long. If you write only an abstract, your proposal will get little attention. And if you write too much, you may wear out the mentors patience.
Your proposal must demonstrate that you have an independent understanding of the problem, and at least a general idea of how to solve it. Being too specific before discussing the project with a mentor is not going to gain many points. If the mentors asks for such details that's OK. If you are unsure, ask a friend to read your application and tell you if it makes sense. Ask your friend to describe the project to you. If you don't recognize the project from your friend's description, you may have a problem.
Good luck!

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