GSoC 2012: The Experience

by Amit


The evaluations are in and I have formally passed the Google Summer of Code, 2012 as part of the Fedora project. It was a huge learning experience. I was introduced to a number of new tools and techniques which I hadn’t heard of before.  I do not yet know how to literally “handcraft” Fedora ISO’s, however I at least know the tools for the job and have got familiar with working with Koji, the various repositories and the learnt about the “lifecycle” of a package.  In the process I hope my project will be useful to the Fedora QA, which is where we will be working towards.

Takeaways

  1. This was my first major open source project with a deadline to complete. And since I used a number of third party Open Source software, when I was stuck with a problem, the only avenue for help I had was the mailing list/project lead. That had its own shortcomings. I think there is an important lesson to learn. If you are using Open Source software in Business, you better buy support. In the same vein, if you are a Open Source software expecting to be used in anything serious, provide commercial support.
  2. I had multiple priorities to deal with during the past few months – professional and personal and I wanted to do them all equally well, because all were dear to me. I am glad I managed everything pretty well in the end – Just decide what you want to do, and work towards it. Things have a strange way of coming together at the end and leave you smiling.

Thanks

Any successful endeavour is usually not achieved alone. First and foremost, thanks to Tim Flink – my project mentor for seeing this through. Thankfully, my proposed idea of a web-based build service resonated with something which he had in mind and had already worked on for a bit and that was the beginning of it all. He also had to write extra long emails explaining to me what exactly we would be attempting to achieve. Thanks, Tim for your co-operation and guidance.

Thanks are due to the community of the following projects: celery (Thanks Ask Solem and others),  Flask (Thanks guys for making me believe even I can write web applications), Fabric, Zdaemon, Read-the-docs, Sphinx and of course the Fedora community in various ways. Python made working on the project a delight. Finally, thanks Google for organizing the Summer of Code. It definitely helps in pooling a dedicated task force working on Open Source projects.

And all the non-technical factors that makes a person take up such endeavours in the first place – when that little push is needed there is always someone behind the scene giving that push- explicitly or implicitly. Thanks to Protyusha for that.

And last but not the least, sometimes you need people against you to always spur you on. So, thanks to those people who knows only how to try to pull someone down.

For those of you kids who are thinking – hey this guy is writing like he has scaled Everest, I would like to tell you: Learn to celebrate the smallest of things, it just makes it that more precious.

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