[IPython-dev] [IPython-User] Fwd: Google Summer of Code 2013

Brian Granger ellisonbg at gmail.com
Mon Feb 11 23:51:30 EST 2013

On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 5:52 PM, Fernando Perez <fperez.net at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 4:19 PM, Thomas Kluyver <takowl at gmail.com> wrote:
>> In previous years I know we've not done GSoC, because mentoring takes up
>> quite a bit of time itself. But maybe with the grant supporting several
>> people working on IPython, we could reconsider that.
> My take is actually the opposite: if anything, given our
> responsibilities towards the Sloan grant, we shouldn't spread
> ourselves any thinner right now.  Yes there's money there, but there's
> also a ton of work to be done.

I completely agree with Fernando.  There is an important philosophy
behind the Sloan grant that I think is worth stating.  I don't view
the Sloan grant as something that allows us to expand out activities
to include more things.  I view the grant as something that allows us
to do a better job at what we are already doing:  fewer bugs, higher
quality features, moving faster through things that were already on
our radar.  This is really important.  I think the GSoC would take us
away from that focus.

> GSoC is really a *mentoring* program to teach others how to
> participate in open source, that may by almost by accident produce
> useful code.  Its real value is in the mentoring experience and in
> therefore growing a community.  Unfortunately right now I think pretty
> much all the core people who could have enough experience in our
> project to be good mentors are already fully (if not over-) committed,
> so I don't see how we could do a good job mentoring a student.

>From my experience with GSoC (mentor for 4 years on SymPy), you really
have to put in a lot of time to make it worth while.  It also takes
the right kind of projects - and I don't think IPython has many of
those right now.  It is a much more complicated project than SymPy and
the work tends to be much more coupled.  All that to say, it is a
non-trivial thing to commit to.

> I say that as someone who in the past has been a mentor, and I felt
> that a) I didn't do enough of  a good job as mentor because it
> demanded more time than I really had; b) it didn't really serve the
> IPython project all that much in the end.




> Cheers,
> f
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Brian E. Granger
Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
bgranger at calpoly.edu and ellisonbg at gmail.com

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