Friday, 24 February 2017

GSOC Barcamp 2017 at National Institute of Technology Durgapur, India

The Google Summer of Code, better abbreviated as GSOC, is a major boost to any individual who wishes to 'contribute' to the coding-mainstream. Any coder finds a more directed and direct entry into the open source world with the help of this 3 month internship program by Google. NIT Durgapur have had this opportunity of being the home to students who not only knew about GSOC and cherished it but also had the will power, dedication and skill to apply, get selected and complete the internship program. Fortunately enough, these same people also had the noble desire to extend their knowledge and achievements to people around them- they wanted their college to grow, their fellow college students to participate and crack through the GSOC program.

On the 18th of February, 2017, the GNU/LINUX Users' Group (GLUG) of NIT Durgapur, along with the help of past GSOCers, successfully organised a GSOC Barcamp for more than 150 students from NIT Durgapur and the neighboring institutes making them aware of GSOC and arming them with the basic ways to crack through it.

The Barcamp flagged off on a welcoming note by the club members and the past GSOCers, after which a presentation was shown with the past GSOCers simultaneously explaining every little thing. What is GSOC? Whom is it for? What are the terminologies of the open source world? What is the GSOC timeline? What are organisations? How does one apply for GSOC? How to write a proposal? What do you learn out of it? What kind of networking can be created?What are the rewards GSOC offers you? What's the opportunity that GSOC provides you with? - all of these questions got answered one by one. With both memes to keep the barcamp light and detailed information to get the students clarified to core about GSOC, the presentation was a perfect bag-pack.
Next, the members of GLUG explained the methods to contribute to open source coding and showed how open source contributions could actually develop the skills of a coder and connect them to real life situations and problems. They went on to highlight the different platforms that could help them do so.

Then came the glorified part of the Barcamp- an interactive session with one of the mentors of GSOC this year- Naveen Valecha from Drupal. An hour long video call and it couldn't have been any better. Starting from what an organisation is, to what is looked for in an application for GSOC, to what not to ignore while contributing, to sharing his own story, Naveen's session was the cherry on the cake. Students were assuredly beaming with confidence after his motivational session. Right after his session, the past GSOCers pointed out what was common between their individual stories and the mentor's story- will power, dedication, hard work and an urge to learn more. They shared their own experiences and asked the students not to give up and start right from that moment. According to them, every student had the potential to get selected for GSOC- it was just a matter of who did their research work more religiously and who shed off that extra drop of sweat. With a final Q/A session clarifying the doubts of the students, the Barcamp came to an end. The organisers were surely happy of having pulled it off well and the students looked contended to have attended the GSOC Barcamp which turned out so fruitful for them.

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