The community bonding period is the 3 weeks between GSoC student acceptance and the start of coding date. Here are some of the goals of this period:

  • Prepare GSoC contributors to immediately start writing code at the official start of coding.
  • Get GSoC contributor engaged socially in the project.
  • Provide time for GSoC contributors to learn about the development practices of the organization.
  • Ensure that GSoC contributors have a development environment set up. This includes getting set up with the project version control system and reading up on necessary documentation.
  • Further refine the strategic plan for project completion. Be sure to have solid requirements for both phases particularly the end of the first phase so there is no confusion between your expectations and the GSoC contributor’s. Other milestones for the final phase can be adjusted by discussing with the GSoC contributor as needed.
  • This is a time for the GSoC contributor to get required forms filled out, such as the tax forms required by Google, any contributor license agreements, and any paperwork that your project requires.

This period was added in 2007 to help GSoC contributors integrate with their development community and so encourage them to become lifetime contributors. New contributors to a project outside of GSoC often lurk in a project’s IRC channel and/or mailing lists for weeks or months before submitting their first patch. The community bonding period is an attempt to improve that experience.

Successful completion of your GSoC contributor’s GSoC project depends a lot on the bonding period. Make sure that you and your GSoC contributor make good use of this time and make significant progress on preliminary tasks. The community bonding period is also a good chance for the GSoC contributors to start interacting with each other. Early connections can help the GSoC contributors support each other during coding.

Ideally GSoC contributors are ready to start writing code at the official start of coding, and are already engaged socially. During the community bonding period GSoC contributors are expected to learn about the development processes of their organization, ensure they have a development environment set up, get set up with the project version control system, read up on necessary documentation, and further refine the strategic plan for successful project completion.

Plan weekly activities for your GSoC contributor that only take an hour or two.

Pro Tip: GSoC contributors are meant to be “in good standing with their community” to continue in the program. If you don’t hear anything at all from your accepted GSoC contributor during community bonding, or the GSoC contributor explicitly drops out, tell Google.

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