It all begins with the “Ideas Page”. This is where you compile a list of possible summer projects for your organization. The Ideas Page is a major piece of your organization’s application to Google. It also serves as a recruiting and selection tool for students and mentors alike.
Depending on how your organization operates, the source of material for your Ideas Page may come from an existing list of projects maintained by your community year-round, from potential mentors as they are recruited, or from the org admin. Regardless of how it is generated, an Ideas Page should have the following:
- Brief descriptions of projects that can be completed in about 12 weeks.
- For each project, a list of prerequisites, description of programming skills needed and estimation of difficulty level.
- A list of potential mentors.
- It must NOT be a link to your bug tracker.
The best pages include links to more detailed descriptions and related materials for each project. They might even include actual use cases!
Keep in mind that this page is often the first view of your organization by Google and potential student applicants. A link to your bug tracker does not an Ideas Page make. Put your best foot forward. In addition to a basic list, you might also consider providing links to relevant resources for mentors and students, particular FAQ entries, the timeline, etc. You might include a section on communication, giving specific advice on which mailing lists, channels and emails to use and how to use them. If your organization puts together an application template for students, you should include that on your page as well. Think of your Ideas Page as the GSoC portal to your organization.
Pro Tip: Maintain an Ideas Page year-round to continually recruit new contributors and cultivate community involvement.