Apr 7

Summer of Code Mentor Observations for 2009 – Part 3

Category: joomla,soc

More observations from the front line as I finish up my first pass:

  1. Use formatting sparingly!
    Don’t make your entire proposal bold, it doesn’t help. Excessive font sizes for headings doesn’t help and all sorts of weird fonts through out also don’t help. Additionally some proposals seemed to have a fixed width set for them which whilst not being their major malfunction (they were junk proposals in reality) it would have detracted from a better proposal. Also using excessive tables doesn’t help as well. Excessive capitals is also just as bad as using too much bold text.
    The converse is true. If your proposal looks like a big chunk of text then this is a serious lack of formatting and should be resolved. Basic use of a paragraph (general rule: at least 3 sentences in a paragraph!) will help and for something like SoC you need at least three paragraphs: who you are, what you’re going to do and convincing me you can do this. The first and last can usually get away just one paragraph though the middle could easily fill out to be an A4 page or more of content (think around three, plus you’ve got to have a timeline in there somewhere).
  2. It is Summer of Code
    This means you need to at some point write serious amounts of code. And I mean “serious”. Language packages don’t cut it and nor does sample content. Neither have code in them and neither are relevant to the program as a whole.

I’m starting to reduce my nag points which I think means I’m almost happy with things. I’ve read every proposal at this point and thrown out a whole heap more. Time to work through ranking the remainder slowly.

Edit: Updated to add more to the formatting heading. Not always is less more even though quite often more formatting is less.

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