GSoC 2018 Mentor Summit

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Daniel Futerman recently attended the Google Summer of Code 2018 Mentor Summit hosted at Google’s offices in California, USA. Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is an online, international program designed to encourage university student participation in open source software development. Daniel administered the program for OpenMRS this year and mentored a student working on a Bahmni project adding support for a notifications engine for patient events. GSoC 2018 saw an array of exciting OpenMRS projects being worked on by impressive student talent spread across three continents, with ten students successfully completing and passing the final evaluation.

The GSoC Mentor Summit is an annual event providing a platform for participating GSoC organisations to meet in person, reflect on their GSoC experiences, and collaborate on all things open source. This year saw more than 300 org admins and mentors attending from the 200+ open source organisations that participated in GSoC 2018.

The summit is run in the ‘unconference’ style, where participants set the agenda by nominating and voting on sessions, allowing peer-to-peer priorities and learning goals to be met. This included two rounds of lightning talks to allow organisations to present on the work of their GSoC 2018 students and mentors. This was a really efficient way to learn about the exciting work that other organisations are involved in, and to showcase some of the fantastic work of this year’s students and mentors supporting the OpenMRS community.

GSoC 2018 Mentor Summit attendees and organisers outside Google’s offices

The summit covered a range of topics and themes, with general open source sessions on licensing, business models, community and improving diversity, as well as GSoC-specific sessions on improving mentor and student participation, support and feedback, and driving interest within underrepresented regions and groups. In addition, other dedicated sessions provided opportunities to learn about the work of other open source communities focused on subjects including health, open science, open hardware, robotics, education and media.