Saturday, October 26, 2019

Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit 2019

The mentor summit in full swing
This is the first time the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) mentor summit came outside of the CA/USA, and the first time to Europe. The mentor summit was in Munich this year, and I am back to the summit after 8 years. Last time I represented AbiWord in 2011 in GooglePlex (the GoogleHQ in MountainView, CA, USA). This time, the Department of Biomedical Informatics, Emory University as both the primary organization administrator as well as a mentor. We traveled from Atlanta to Munich for the mentor summit. I am a happy participant of GSoC for 10 years, under various capacities - student, mentor, and organization administrator. I have been with AbiWord, OMII-UK, Emory BMI between 2009 - 2019.

As the mentor summit was in Munich, Google had organized it longer than usual. Usually, the mentor summits were just 2 days. This time, it was 3 days. The first day was a free day for social activity: a visit to Nymphenburg Palace, followed by a scavenger hunt. The remaining 2 days were the actual mentor summit. The format did not change at all, after almost a decade. It was unconference, where we propose our own topics in a post-it note among the available 8+ slots per session. Then folks join a session that they are interested in (or propose a session of their own). This time I coordinated 2 sessions. The first one was on "Universities as mentoring organizations" and the other one was on "The great proposals". The first one had active participation from around 25 mentors, with most of them representing a university or an umbrella organization formed by universities. The second one was a session I coordinated as the last session of GSoC, mostly because the only other session was "Fail your students," and I did not want to end the mentor summit on a negative note.

I enjoyed coordinating the 2 sessions as well as attending some exciting sessions in all the slots. Of course, I missed several sessions that I would like to participate as I can be physically present in only one session in any given timeslot. I met several mentors from multiple mentoring organizations. We also had a few free days in Europe since the mentor summit was just 3 days, and we were in Europe for a week. We used those days to explore Germany, Austria, and the Baltic nations. Quite a packed trip, indeed.

It was a rewarding experience to attend the mentor summit and proactively contribute to the summit. I made connections with many of the mentor summit participants. Please keep in touch, if you are one of those who attended the mentor summit. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

You are welcome to provide your opinions in the comments. Spam comments and comments with random links will be deleted.