Monday, November 23, 2009

My summer of code Journey. [part 2]

Between application phase and Community bonding phase

There are bascically 4 phases in summer of code,
1) the application phase
2) the Community Bonding phase
3) coding before first evaluation
4) coding before final evaluation

As I have already blogged something about my application phase, lets start with the time in between the application phase and the community bonding phase. As mentioned earlier, I at first started with 3 ideas for Gsoc, but as the responce i got from Kde communiuty and my mentoer was very quick, i started to pay more attention to it. 
I come from a place in India, where the use of linux is not that wide spread. Here linux is like "Linux! What Linux??!!" Dont ask me, recently what happened , i was part of a infosys compus connect program, where we had to execute some program online (just like codechef and topcoder) wasen't opening in firefox(as i was using linux) so i took online help and asked them why isnt it working, and they told me try it on "IE" or switch to another system. Anyway Lets come back on track.

Being new to linux, not that very new as i had been using it(because i liked kde :P) from quite some time. I was new in terms of internals of linux. I was not an expert :-P Same was the case with Qt, though i knew about it, i knew c++, but I had never actually used Qt as the way it is used in Kde, so in short "I was a total newbie" ;-)

/* So the moral of the story is for New Guys who are willing to take part in Google summer of code, dont loose hope just because you are an not an expert. Here we will make you an expert if you are willing to put your efforts in. :) */

Lets get back to track again! :-P
I was new, I was not very experienced, so i was not very confident either. Now that communication had already started between me and my mentor, i got involved in it. When i say i got involved i mean, initially Akonadi, Telepathy were just names for me but now i started to read about them and collect information on them and started taking look at their APi's. I emphasised on the fact  *new* because at the start it is not easy to grasp what exactly things are and how they are actually working.

If somebody else who was a little more experienced then me would have taken a look at it, he might have understood it in a little less time than what i took. I knew this fact so i also knew that, the only thing that can beat my drawback of not being an experienced programmer is that - 'I put in more and more effort!'

So I started to read through documentations, look at the videos of tutorials available, in another words gather as much info as i can before i talk with my mentor on that topic on IRC. This made me tremendously busy and as a result i got completely involved and was not left with any time for other topics i had chosen initially, and so the end result was that I could prepare only one proposal for Google summer of code 2009. I had read at some developer blogs and in some old mail archives that it is always advisable to put in more that one proposal for Gsoc but somehow i was unable to find time for my other ideas and also because This present idea of Akonadi and Telepathy got me interested and everytime i think about it, it produces enegy inside me to work on it.

I am not a kind of guy who will run away from putting an effort into something that i love, and indeed, i am still putting in everything i have! :P

For example when are totally new out from school where you have programmed only simple programs( which max to few 50-100 lines) taking a look at source code of open source applications at one glance will make you nervous. It made me nervous too! First of all there were so many files that I was unable to make out from which file is the execution starting.( i figured that out finally, and so will you! :P)
But my advice is dont quit just by looking at long source code, make and effort and once you get a grasp of it, it will be a piece of cake! Or ask the developers who wrote it, Dont hesitate in asking but at least make sure that you just dont ask anything. We are there to help!

Once the application phase was over, communication had dropped a bit as we were all waiting for the results but as correctly i was advised, "Dont wait for Google summer of code, If you are interested, start working/coding".

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