Apr 7

Summer of Code Mentor Observations for 2009 – Part 2

Category: joomla,soc

Some more observations as I’m going:

  1. If you have to put your CV in, put it at the bottom.
    I saw one proposal I didn’t mind and was structured nicely. They broke rule 2 and 3 from Part 1 (CV elsewhere and majority proposal) however they made up in some other areas. However as annoying as their CV being there was, it was done in a way where I mostly glazed over it because it was formatted well that I was happy I could ignore that section.
  2. Work towards defining a timeline you expect stuff to be done in.
    If you haven’t got a timeline (or haven’t worked out from rules 6 and 7 in Part 1 that you need a timeline) then you need one now. Timelines are great for adding a bit of extra bulk to your application and you can then link it in with the ideas you’re talking about to provide a framework in which we can evaluate what you’re doing, when you’re going to do it and later evaluate if you’re on track or not. Without this then we’re not in a position to work out if you’re not going to finish something on time or keep you on track and we have to work it out again and that usually doesn’t go well. So we avoid that.
  3. Be Different in being the same.
    So you’ve picked an idea from the ideas page and that itself isn’t such a bad thing to do. But personalise it and make it your own. Find something unique in the proposal that isn’t on the ideas page and you think might not be picked up by others. When I’m sitting reading through similar proposals having something unique helps me differentiate you from a pack of proposal that look very similar. It may be something really small but it will stand out.
  4. When given the option to write, write.
    I’ve seen a few proposals where they are too short and wonder why they have so much space left. Use it. Write something useful and detailed about your proposal. You’ve got space for a reason. Don’t pad it out with something useless and irrelevant to your project (e.g. how many awards you’ve had, a copy of your academic transcript, a full listing of all of your previous positions) but make sure its something useful like maybe a thought out database schema, a minor class diagram or an interaction diagram of some variety. Basically put some thought into it if you think you’re horribly short. Mind you if you’re a brilliant writer some of this might apply but if you can throw in some extra detail demonstrate your skills that way not by how many positions you’ve had.

I’ve passed the 100 mark so now I’m into the final stretch of evaluating everything so it will be interesting to see how I go.

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