GSoC Pre Proposal Phase
This is the one the most crucial phases of GSoC. This phase helps you have an upper edge over the other students. I started in March 1st week, which is still a little late, one should start before mid-Feb when the Organisations are Announced.
No organization or mentor knows who you are, what are your strengths, weaknesses, and your area of expertise. You need to push yourself to work or at least understand the project and the problem statement before the actual coding period starts. Giving the organization a chance to notice you before they read your proposal. You need to get involved in the project as much as possible. There are a lot of things one can do to get connected to your organization and project.
The usual way to get connected to any organisation is by doing the following:
1. Setup the project on your local machine.I remember setting up the wrong project repository on the very first day 😕, and this made my work easier for the other two right repos. If you are new to the particular setup required this part may take a while but for others, this might feel just a normal setup. If you are able to set up the project, congratulations! You are 1 step ahead in this journey. If you are unable to set up the project even after thoroughly reading the developers guide and referring all the internet sources(StackOverflow/GitHub issues..etc). Don’t worry!
Write the issue you are facing on the common organization chat channel(Slack etc) and ask for help publically.
Never text anyone personally to help you.
Some projects can’t be set up locally, for them read about the tools, technologies and everything mentioned in the problem statement and discuss your doubts and queries on the channel.
2. Understand what is happening, the overall workflow, this is just to get an overall idea of what exactly the work is about and how other contributors earlier working on that project have made their contributions.
You do not need to understand the project entirely here.
In my case, when I started reading all those lines of code I realised the framework used was totally new to me, and I had to google everything up to understand the workflow.
3. Once you have a brief idea of your projects, it is time to get started with the next phase of being involved in the project. Which you can do in many ways:
A. Solve preexisting issues: A lot of pending issues are present and needs work, try solving them. Once you are able to solve them, make a pull request of your patch. I found one such pending issue in one of the repositories, which I tried to fix and further made a PR for the review. Which fortunately worked out and the solution I provided solved the problem.
B. If you find any other issues, raise them and ask for community members to look into it. Also, try to describe how you would go about solving them. You do not need to have very big and important issues, fixes can be made in the documentation also. In my case, I made a pretty small one, where the path of images was set wrong and hence they were not displaying in the browser. I sent a PR for the same too.
C. One more thing that helps is giving your inputs to public questions in the Chat group or in project repository etc.
3. By doing the above things you are already involved with the mentors and organisation members, and they also get to know you, you can now start working on your proposal and try to reach out to your mentors and ask for a review of your proposal.
Read my next blog for knowing more about The Proposal