Interviewed: Google Summer of Code Developers

(BY ALAIDU POOJA)

For the first time in the CET, four students namely Rishav Agarwal, Sandeep Mahapatra, Amitosh Swain Mahapatra and Saisankar Gochayat got selected for the Google Summer of Code (GSoC). GSoC is a summer developer program sponsored by Google to contribute in open source community. It is a great achievement on the part of the college and Zairza (the technical society of CET) to have these proficient coders.

In the history of CET, Tarashish Mishra, an alumni , was the first one to bag the GSOC internship and not once, but twice, followed by Prayash Mohapatra. And under their guidance, Sandeep Mahapatra , Rishav Agarwal ,Sai Sankar Gochayat , Amitosh Swain Mahapatra did the miracles.

No wonder they all are from Zairza!

Here is an interview with Sandeep, Rishav, Amitosh and Saisankar by Aladu Pooja about their experiences right from the application process to selection for GSoC and the insights towards the opportunities to grab.

POOJA: Firstly, Congratulations for this big achievement! We would like to know about GSoC in your words?

RISHAV: I see GSoC as a platform for students to get a close view on how big projects are handled and how teams work together. Its Google’s way of promoting open source and if you see the statistics, it has worked out pretty well. Most of the GSoCers keep contributing to open source even after the summer. GSoC provides a humongous opportunity to students like us who have very limited experience.

POOJA: What are your respective organizations to work with, under GSoC ?

SANDEEP: GraphSpace under NRNB (National Resource for Network Biology).

RISHAV: I’ll be working for AIMA code, to create JavaScript Visualization for its chapters .

AMITOSH: I’ll be working on displaying metrics about projects listed at LibreCores.org under the Free and Open Source Silicon Foundation.

SAI: Its Carbon Footprint under AOSSIE.

POOJA: Well what was the process that you all had to go through to apply and get selected?

SAI: Initially, once the participating organizations were announced, I had to surf around a lot to find the project I could contribute to. I tried my hand at quite a few places, as time went by, I could finally contribute to Bassa and AOSSIE. I made a few pull requests in both organizations, followed their mailing lists and finally made a proposal.

AMITOSH: Yes, pretty much the same. Except for the organization, everyone had to go through the same process.

RISHAV: Contacting the mentors is also a necessary part of the process.

POOJA: Well, what was the driving force to go for GSoC ?

SANDEEP: Open source contribution, personal recognition and their idea , these are the factors which motivated me.

AMITOSH: I started contributing to open source from 8th class and that’s how I got to know about GSoC, and then I went for it .

RISHAV: From the starting I wanted to gamify the education system and this platform helped me accomplish it through my coding skills.

SAI: The fear of not having anything to do in summers was scary.

POOJA: WHAT IS THE PROCESS TO APPLY FOR GSoC ?

RISHAV: All the participating organizations were declared 2 months earlier. And then we went through all the organization.

SANDEEP: Then we had to contact all the mentors and project in charge. Well I had fixed one issue as my organization emphasized more on the proposal and warm-up task given to us regarding the project.

SAI: I made a few pull requests in both organizations, I followed their mailing lists and finally made a proposal for the same.

POOJA: HOW ZAIRZA WAS HELPFUL TOWARDS IT?

SAI: Having a motivated and talented group of people is inspiring and encouraging.

RISHAV: Obviously, Zairza had been eminent part to achieve it though. It was the place where we started out.

POOJA: ANY ADVICES FOR THE READERS?

SANDEEP: World is there beyond books! Explore more!

RISHAV: Figure out what’s your strength and skills, work upon it and meanwhile keep finding opportunities to grow.

SAI: There are lot of competitions out there in every field, try your luck in them and probably you might be good at it .

AMITOSH: Take more time to understand your passion. And for GSoC take more time to understand the organization.

Even Tarashish Mishra, the renowned alumni and GSoC developer was contacted and he too shared few words.

TARASHISH: GSoC was a great experience for me. I met some really amazing people, learned a great deal from them. It also gave me a chance to work with people across the globe on things used by thousands of people. Overall GSoC reinforced my love for the OSS community and made me a better programmer for sure.

Seeing more and more folks from CET getting into GSoC and OSS, in general, is pretty exciting to me. This hopefully means that more and more CETians will be inspired to get into programming and build an environment where people can hack together on interesting things unrelated to class work.

Hence with this remarkable achievement on the part these individuals, Zairza and CET! We hope it will motivate more programmers to avail many platforms out there which are rewarding as well as will enhance your skills.

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