Google Summer of Code 2010 San Francisco Meetup

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Carol Smith and Cat Allman (5th and 1st from right) with with meetup participants

Two weeks ago, Google’s San Francisco office hosted a Google Summer of Code™ meetup. I joined a group of about a dozen others, including Carol Smith and Cat Allman from Google's Open Source Programs Office. There were program participants from all over California, including two exchange students and one who came all the way from Guadalajara, Mexico. We didn't have a huge agenda, we just planned to get together and geek out.

We started the event off just after 3 PM with introductions and some background info on the 2010 projects. There were two 2008 Google Summer of Code alums in attendance: João Antunes, who worked on a file transfer protocol for SIP Communicator and myself (John Britton), who worked on a localization server for Gallery.

João and I shared our advice on succeeding in Google Summer of Code. We each gave short demonstrations of our projects and some background to put them in context. We also fielded tough questions on how to make sure to set reasonable expectations for mentors and deliver on promised goals.

After talking about the program, I took the floor to talk a bit about projects that I've been working on recently. I started by giving an interactive demo of Twilio and explaining how my experience duiring Google Summer of Code was instrumental in getting a job there. The program was especially good for preparing me to work on building the community around our first open source project, OpenVBX. After I finished up talking about community building, I shared an update on Mozilla's Drumbeat initiative which naturally segued into a discussion on P2PU and the School of Webcraft.

The team from Scripped followed me by giving some advice on the importance of communication in software projects and on managing expectations. Last but not least, we got an official tour of the Google San Francisco office. Tour highlights included a pit stop in the micro-kitchen, a chance to ride the Google slide, and a giant Android phone.

We rounded out the day with a trip to a pub on the waterfront overlooking the Bay Bridge. Overall, it was a pretty sweet day.

Check out the Google Summer of Code Flickr Group Pool for more photos.

By John Britton, 2008 Google Summer of Code Alum