In order to give students a good sense of community, and to help them learn about the software they’ll be working on, we run several full-group calls throughout GSoC. We use Zoom for this, primarily because it allows us to break up community calls into smaller breakout groups for discussions.

Table of Contents:

Application period: GSoC webinar

During the application period, we usually run a recorded call for all interested attendees. This covers the following topics:

  • testimonials and application from students in previous years
  • mentors discussing the goals of each project and answer any applicant questions

Accepted student projects

Accepted students are invited to participate in the following calls:

Month one: GSoC kick-off

Who attends: students, as many mentors as possible
Call template: GitHub HackMD

  • Tell the students about
    • the org and general roadmap
    • working policies for the next few months
  • students introduce themselves and their project plans
  • group activity: students discuss good and bad things they’ve encountered in open source and/or software development. This aims to get students thinking about good practices for their own repos.

Month two: Coding good practices, providing feedback, and code review

Who attends: students, mentors optional but welcome
Call template: GitHub HackMD

  • Group discussion: What makes code good? What makes it awful?
  • Break-out room: students begin by reviewing code of others (i.e. repos that don’t belong to the org) in groups of 2-3.
  • Giving feedback: As a group we discuss the importance of giving both positive and negative feedback, and how to do so effectively and compassionately.
  • Break-out room: In groups of 2-3, students bring one of their own repos that they’ve been working on, and provide each other with feedback.

Month three: Practice for final presentations

Who attends: Mentors aren’t invited to this call, just to give students a safe space to practice with the team.
Call template: GitHub HackMD

  • Students are reminded of the feedback exerise we did last call
  • Students present for five minutes, practicing what they’ll share with the whole InterMine community at the end of the month
    • Each other student provides one bit of positive feedback and one suggestion to improve for each talk.

Final Evaluation Period: Final presentations

Who attends: All the InterMine community is invited.
Call template: GitHub HackMD

  • Students present their refined presentations, with a strict 5-minute time limit.