GSoC Meetup in Coimbatore, India

Friday, January 17, 2014

In celebration of the 10th year of Google Summer of Code in 2014, many former students, mentors, and open source enthusiasts have been hosting GSoC meetups around the globe to introduce new students to the program.  Below we have a guest post from Sarup Banskota, 2013 GSoC student with Fedora.

Some of us geeks here at Amrita University, Coimbatore, India run the tech{know}logy club and we're always trying to inspire college students to be creative and develop new ideas and implement those ideas.

We value FOSS principles throughout, and just when a tech{know}logy primer on FOSS techniques was in the pipeline, Google announced the Google Summer of Code program for 2014. We've had two past GSoC'ers, Yeswanth with the Python Software Foundation in 2011, and myself, Sarup Banskota, with the Fedora Project in 2013. Encouraged by excitement from the students, we decided to host a meetup.

The agenda was clear -- introduce students to the FOSS community and encourage them to participate in GSoC and the Gnome OPW program. With support from the CS department here at Amrita, we managed to book a hall, get loads of flyers printed, and generate interest in the classrooms.

On event day, we had about 60 students and a professor attend. There were people new to programming and there were others who had some idea about FOSS but wanted help getting started. We started off with the GSoC slide deck, stopping in between to discuss past projects and answering questions. I demonstrated GlitterGallery, the GitHub for designers I built over the summer.

To give the event an open source feel, we set up an IRC channel, mailing lists and a GitHub repo. I gave a primer on Git (which was gamified and received a lot of interest) and for part of the lesson we collaboratively built a fun project together! There were people sending in pull requests and asking questions on IRC. It was a very exciting half hour, after which we took a break and distributed some Google swag.

It was a fantastic Saturday on 9th November, and we hope a lot of the attendees will venture out to open source communities of their choice and contribute! I already had a couple of contributors come by and commit to GlitterGallery, and I hear a few others have started contributing to Gnome and Mozilla.

I'd really like to thank everyone who turned up, and my friends Aravind, Archit, Madhu, Manjush and Romil for being awesome geeks and helping out during the event. Special thanks to Kriti for the publicity and for covering the event on her blog.

By Sarup Banskota, Google Summer of Code 2013 Fedora Project student