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Report on ns-3's participation on GSoC 2010

This report is intended as a reference guide for Organization Administrators (OAs) participating in the Google Summer of Code program for the ns-3 project.

The OA's responsabilities

The OA is the person (or persons, can be more than one) responsible for organizing the project's participation in GSoC. His/Her responsibilities include announcing important information in the ns-3 mailing lists, interacting with the GSoC team, answering questions and encouraging interaction between students and the ns-3 community, taking care of problems related to the program and most important, making sure deadlines are met by mentors and students.

Next is the list of tasks performed by the OAs during the program:

First stage of GSoC: The preparation

  1. Creating the ns-3 project's ideas page in the wiki. See GSoC 2010's Ideas Page.
  2. Creating the ns-3 student's application template page in the wiki. See GSoC 2010 student's application template.
  3. Creating the ns-3 student's guide page in the wiki. See GSoC 2010 student's guide.
  4. Searching for volunteer mentors and projects ideas. (A good place to start is the ns-3 developers mailing list)
  5. Submitting the organization's application.
  6. Announcing the ns-3 project's acceptance on GSoC in the ns-3 users and developers mailing lists.
  7. Creating ns-3 Organization's Home Page on the GSoC Site.
  8. Advertising the ns-3 project participation in the program amongst students
  9. Encouraging discussion of students project's ideas in the developers mailing list.
  10. Announcing the opening of the student's application period in the ns-3 mailing lists.
  11. Verifying that mentors are officially registered at the GSoC site before the mentor's registration deadline.
  12. Coordinating the review of students projects proposals with the future mentors and OAs.
  13. Ensuring that all students proposals are reviewed and ranked, and matched with a mentor before the student ranking/scoring deadline.
  14. Attending GSoC's IRC meeting to resolve any duplicate accepted students.
  15. Encouraging communication between students and mentors and the integration of students with the ns-3 community during the Community Bonding Period.
  16. Defining evaluation instances for student's projects during the program.
  17. Setting up the accepted projects page at the wiki. See GSOC 2010 ns-3's accepted projects

Second stage of GSoC: The Coding

  1. Ensuring that mentors and students are aware of and meet the midterm evaluation date.
  2. Asking for code reviews of the student's project in the developers mailing list.
  3. Ensuring that mentors and students are aware of and meet the final evaluation date.
  4. Submitting OA final evaluation at GSoC site.

Third step GSoC: The end

  1. Updating the project's information on the ns-3's Google code repository.
  2. Ensuring that passing students upload their code samples to Google. See the GSoC's 2010 code submission guidelines

The program's documentation

It is advisable for OAs to read the available documentation on the program.
At GSoC site you will find a description of the program.
Other important documentation is the GSoC's 2010 User Guide
Also the mentor's guide is worth reading.

Student proposal's evaluation criteria

Evaluation instances for student's projects

During GSoC 2010 weekly meetings were held between the ns-3 students and their mentors. After each meeting the students sent a report to the developers mailing list stating the current status of the project. The students also updated their wiki project pages to reflect the advance in the projects. Before the midterm evaluation date, students were asked to write a report including the following items:

  • Work approach.
  • Achieved goals
  • Encountered problems.
  • Example scripts showing how to use the implemented features.

Things to improve

Even if the GSoC 2010's experience was generally positive, for both the students and the ns-3 community, two things do call for improvement.
The first is the amount of code reviewing on the student's code from the community, which was insufficient. The second is the lack of IRC activity.
This two things should be taken on account for improvement in next GSoC's.

GSoC 2010's questions

Midterm evaluation questions

Mentor Evaluation Questions

  1. How many years have you been a mentor for Google Summer of Code (this doesn’t have to be consecutive)?
        1. This is my first year
        2. 2-3 years
        3. More than 3 years
  2. At what point did you first make contact with your student?
        1. Before the program was announced
        2. After my organization was selected to participate in Google Summer of Code
        3. During the student application/acceptance phase of the program
        4. During the community bonding period
        5. After the start of coding
  3. How often do you and your student interact?
        1. Daily
        2. Every few days
        3. Weekly
        4. Every few weeks
        5. Monthly
  4. How do you communicate with your student? (Check all that apply)
        1. Voice (phone, Skype, etc.)
        2. IM/IRC
        3. Private emails
        4. Mailing Lists
        5. Student blog updates
        6. In-person meeting(s)
  5. Of the communication methods listed above, which do you use most frequently?
  6. How much time do you spend on Google Summer of Code per week (take into consideration your interactions with your student as well as time working with your org and on your own).
        1. 1-5 hours
        2. 5-10 hours
        3. 10-15 hours
        4. 15-20 hours
        5. More than 20 hours per week
  7. How many timezones apart from your student are you?
        1. Less than 3
        2. 3-6
        3. More than 6
  8. How often do you require status updates from your student?
        1. Daily
        2. Every few days
        3. Weekly
        4. Only when explicitly asked for
  9. Please rate the quality of your interactions and communications with the student (consider his/her communication with you as well as your responses).
        1. Very Good
        2. Good
        3. Bad
 10. Please rate the quality of the student’s interactions with your organization and community.
        1. Very Good
        2. Good
        3. Bad
 11. Is your student on track to complete his/her project?
        1. The student has already completed his/her project
        2. He/she is ahead of schedule
        3. He/she is on schedule
        4. He/she is behind schedule
 12. Please rate the quality of code/work the student has produced thus far.
        1. Amongst the best people I’ve ever worked with
        2. Solid-quality performance
        3. Good performance
        4. Mediocre performance
        5. Disappointing or not performing at all
 13. Give an example of a very good or very bad interaction you had with your student.
 14. What one thing could you do to improve the quality of interaction and communications with your student?
 15. Anything else you’d like to tell us or suggestions on how we could improve the program?
 16. For the midterm evaluation, should this student pass or fail?
        1. Pass
        2. Fail

Final evaluation questions

Mentor Evaluation Questions

  1. How would you rate the student’s performance on his/her project since the midterm evaluations?
        1. It’s improved since the midterm
        2. It’s stayed the same since the midterm
        3. It’s gotten worse since the midterm
  2. Considering your student’s original project proposal, how closely does the project produced reflect the project proposed?
        1. It’s almost exactly the same - there have been few changes to the project at all
        2. It’s similar - there have been changes over the course of the summer
        3. It’s significantly different - we changed the goals or scope of the project
  3. How much time have you spent on Google Summer of Code since the midterm evaluations (again, take into consideration both time mentoring the student and working on the program as a whole)?
        1. Less than 5 hours a week
        2. 5-10 hours a week
        3. 10-20 hours a week
        4. 20-30 hours a week
        5. 30-40 hours per week
        6. 40+ hours per week
  4. How does this amount of time compare to before the midterms?
        1. It’s less then before the midterms
        2. Its about the same
        3. It’s more than before the midterms
  5. How would you rate your student’s performance overall?
        1. Excellent - amongst the best people I’ve ever worked with
        2. Strong, solid performance
        3. OK
        4. Poor
  6. How would you rate your experience with the program overall?
        1. Excellent - one of the best programs I’ve ever participated in
        2. Very good
        3. OK
        4. Poor
  7. Did you have a co-mentor in the program this year? If so, would you consider this a help or a hindrance? Why?
  8. What one thing would you tell mentors for your organization to do in the future to help the students’ experience with the program?
  9. What was the most rewarding or difficult part of the program for you this year?
 10. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

Org Admin (Optional) Evaluation Questions

  1. How many years have you been involved in the Google Summer of Code program?
        1. This is my first year
        2. 2-3 years
        3. More than 3 years
  2. How many years has your organization been involved in the Google Summer of Code program (these don’t have to consecutive)?
        1. This is our first year
        2. 2-3 years
        3. 3+ years
  3. Please list one or two things you looked for when choosing mentors for the program this year. How would you say these things helped or hurt your organization’s experience with the program this year?
  4. What was the most rewarding or challenging part of participating in Google Summer of Code for you this year?
  5. Do you have any other feedback you’d like to offer us on how to improve the program?