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Google Summer of Code: Rules of conduct


Google Summer of Code is a huge commitment, both for us as a project, and for the students participating. We expect a lot from the students: A full-time commitment during the three months of GSoC, interaction with the community and hopefully a new contributor to GNU Radio.

As mentors, we want to guarantee a certain quality of mentoring. Please remember that mentors, unlike the participants, are unpaid volunteers. Nevertheless, we think it's a good thing to establish clear rules before GSoC actually starts. This document shall be an official statement from the GNU Radio project to GSoC participants, detailing how we plan to conduct GSoC from our side.

Mentors: What we offer

This section will what we as a mentoring organization are committed to during GSoC.

  • Guaranteed mentorship. All accepted students are assigned a mentor. Should, for any reason, the mentor fail to fulfill his or her duties, we will make sure there is backup.
  • Regular feedback. At least once a week, the mentor will provide direct feedback (e.g. through a Google Hangout) and guide the student.
  • Expertise. All of our mentors are highly competent in their field of expertise. Should more input be necessary, the GNU Radio community will provide additional help, either through the mailing list or by finding experts who can help with specific problems.

Students: What we expect, and how not to fail

Here, we want to lay out in a transparent fashion what we expect from students in order for them not to fail. Before every evaluation, mentors will discuss amongst each other if students have done all they should in order to pass. This means that a pass/fail is not up to the whims of individual mentors, but is a decision transparent to all other active mentors.

  • Participation in the community. Students who don't make their work public during GSoC cannot expect to pass. This can happen through blog posts, mailing list contributions or other forms, as long as it is made publicly available and anyone who wants can follow the student's progress during GSoC. We require weekly updates on a publically visible platform!
  • Public definition of milestones. For every evaluation period, it should be clear for an outsider what the goals were, and if they were reached. This way, pass/fail can be objectively evaluated against these milestones.

The three strikes rule

If students fail to live up to these rules of conduct, they will receive a warning. The third warning will automatically result in failing the student. While this might sound harsh, it's actually a good way for both mentors and students to communicate that things are going wrong.

Reasons to receive a warning include, but are not limited to:

  • Missing a weekly public update
  • Falling way behind on promised deliverables
  • GPL/FLOSS licence violations
  • Abusive conduct, e.g. using abusive language on the mailing list and/or IRC
  • Prioritising other activities during GSoC to an extent that time spent on GSoC itself is affected

It's up to the individual mentor to decide whether or not a student deserves a warning. However, in very obvious cases (such as missing a weekly update), the org admin may also issue a warning.

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