Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Applying to a project as a "team" in GSoC

This is often a question asked by the students and even mentors whether students can participate in GSoC as a team. The short answer is, No, according to the GSoC policies.
It is ok (and encouraged) that the students communicate and collaborate with the team/organization/community (including the other GSoC students, once they are accepted).

However, it is not ok that two students (presumably classmates or friends) apply together for a single project (or even two separate projects, where they explicitly indicate their interest to collaborate and do a joint team work with another student).

"We have two students that want to work on the same project together."

Here these two students want to work on the same project together. This means, they are considering themselves as a team, rather than considering the organization itself as the team. They are going to help each other and work together from the application period, which is of course unfair to the other students, if permitted. This is not (and never) permitted in GSoC. Students apply individually and code individually, while being part of the bigger community (i.e. the mentoring organization or a project collaborated by the mentoring organization if the mentoring organization is an umbrella organization such as Apache).

Allowing such teams or pairs will ruin the fairness. It has a dangerous assumption made by the students that both of them will successfully get accepted into GSoC and complete their projects on time. Once the GSoC timeline is over, of course, you may encourage the students to continue development as a pair or team as volunteers, as they will not be bound by the rules of GSoC anymore.

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