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Select participants for GSoC 2015 and Outreachy round 10
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Qgil raised the priority of this task from to Medium.
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Qgil added subscribers: Qgil, Niharika.

Mail sent to Wikitech-l:


I am pleased to announce that Wikimedia has been selected as a mentoring
organization for the upcoming Google Summer of Code (out of only 137
organizations selected for this round) and Outreachy rounds.

We have a phabricator board for possible projects[1] students can work on.
Currently, only 7 projects are in the "Featured" column with well-defined
project scope and mentors assigned.

A lot more are sitting in the "Needs Discussion" and "Missing Mentors"
columns, looking forward to your input.

Enlisting some of the more discussed projects here:

  • Gadget Usage Statistics [2]
  • Out-of-date fact and statistics identification and review [3]
  • Cross-wiki watchlists [4]
  • Newsletter Mediawiki Extension [5]

Your comments would be greatly appreciated in shaping these ideas into
featured projects for the students.

If you know of other projects which could be a good fit for a 3 month
GSoC/Outreachy round, please feel free to add them to the board.
If you think you can mentor one of these projects, please do comment on the
ticket indicating so.


Thank you!

PS: I am a co-organizer for the upcoming GSoC & Outreachy rounds for
Wikimedia, along with Quim. Nice to meet you!

Very good! I like your style. :) The URLs of the GSoC 2015 and Outreachy 10 pages in would be handy, though.

@NiharikaKohli, do you want to have this task officially assigned to you? I promise to help as co-org admin, and of course I can explain how we have done this in previous editions. In fact, we could have a hangout or IRC meeting to discuss this with the mentors and candidates willing to attend. This could be a good test to our documentation, and I'm happy investing my time improving / updating it after your questions and doubts.

@Qgil I'd be very happy to work on it, under your guidance. (I'd probably ping you a lot though :) We should definitely organize an IRC meeting with prospective mentors and students. We did one last year too, if I'm not mistaken.

Should we start prodding mentors to register on Melange or we can wait till we have more featured projects?

Great! This task is now assigned to you.

As proposed in the description, I would start with cleaning Possible-Tech-Projects with the goal of identifying the project ideas featured for GSoC and/or Outreachy. Let's clean the Backlog column. Any task there should go to any of these destinations:

  1. Looking good, details missing: Needs Discussion + comment explaining what is missing.
  2. Clearly not for this round, but maybe next: Re-check in August 2015 (new column at the far right).
  3. Not a good possible project: remove project tag.

The next step will be to go through the Needs Discussion column:

  1. Agreement, template filled, two mentors: Featured for...
  2. Agreement, template filled, 0-1 mentors: Missing mentors
  3. No agreement by March 15 (right before student application period opens): Re-check in August 2015

Does this make sense?

@Qgil I have a couple of questions regarding the proposals:

  1. Do students have to create a Phab task only? No wiki page?
  2. What project(s) they should add to the phab task so we/mentors know that proposal exists and can give feedback.
  3. Are students encouraged to post on mailing lists regarding their proposals to get feedback as in previous rounds?
In T91374#1095433, @NiharikaKohli wrote:

@Qgil I have a couple of questions regarding the proposals:

  1. Do students have to create a Phab task only? No wiki page?

Yes, I have improved and I hope the process expected is clearer now.

  1. What project(s) they should add to the phab task so we/mentors know that proposal exists and can give feedback.

At least to the project(s) they are applying for. Since we are recommending them to create subtasks from projects ideas, projects will be most likely inherited already. Documented in the same section as above.

  1. Are students encouraged to post on mailing lists regarding their proposals to get feedback as in previous rounds?

I think this worked relatively well in the past, when the number of candidates was a lot lower. In the past editions I have the impression that a good percentage of students don't receive any feedback, just because during those days the list is quite overwhelmed. Until now associating proposals with the right projects has worked quite well to get feedback from the people interested in those projects. So far I have removed the requirement to post to wikitech-l.

GSoC submission period is open (and Outreachy's too, of course). @NiharikaKohli, could you send a reminder to wikitech-l, pointing people to the first proposals submitted, the ones that still are lacking mentors or something, together with an invitation to participate in all these tasks with their feedback?

@Rfarrand, could you help @NiharikaKohli setting up an IRC office hour for GSoC / Outreachy candidates and mentors, please? We are a bit late on this (my fault) but it would still make total sense to organize it next week, early in the morning in SF so most of the rest of the World has it at decent times as well.

The application deadline is on the 27th (Friday), so the earlier in the week, the better. Rachel, nevermind the pre-booked slots in my schedule for family etc, I will make room for this meeting. Thank you!

Niharika, you seem to handle IRC very well, but in any case have no doubt that I will be there co-facilitating the sessions with you.

No problem. @NiharikaKohli please let me know what day of the week you would like next week and I will take care of reserving the IRC channel/time, and also publicizing the office hour on the mediawiki facebook page and twitter page.


@Qgil, does Monday 1700 UTC work for you? That's 10 am PDT and 2230 IST. My timings are flexible, so an hour earlier or later works just as well.

@NiharikaKohli, while Monday 17:00 UTC would work for me, maybe Wednesday 17:00 UTC would be better? More days to promote the meeting and let people plan for it, and more candidates that will have submitted proposals and we can reach out directly. This would be still about 48h before the deadline, allowing candidates to react to whatever feedback they get.

@Qgil, that works for me too. To clarify, you wrote Wednesday 1700 UTC, but it links to Thursday 1700 UTC. Wednesday was intended, I presume?

I have reserved #office-wikimedia for this from 1700 UTC - 1800 UTC on March 23. Please note that Lila is holding an office hour starting at 1800 UTC so this will need to end on time.
I will end an email out to wikitech-l about this as well!

Great, thank you! Niharika, could you post the details in the two wikipages of each program and also as a comment in each of the ongoing tasks with candidates interested, please?

It turns out Wednesday is March 25, after all. @Rfarrand: updated event link: Wednesday, March 25, at 1700 UTC

I have added a "Possible mentors" section at with links that every possible mentor should be aware of, related to the steps to follow after the deadline for submissions is closed (this Friday), the selection process, and the lessons learned. We should mention this in the IRC meeting this week, and ideas are welcome to assure that every single mentor is aware.

@Rfarrand I think there's been some confusion over the meeting date, because the office hour page listed our meeting as today, instead of day after. Sorry, it was supposed to be March 25. Luckily the 1700 UTC slot is empty for March 25 as well. Shall I update the page and shoot an email to wikitech-l regarding the meeting?

Apologies for the inconvenience caused. And thank you!

@NiharikaKohli, you can edit the Office Hours page in Meta, yes.

@Qgil, Wednesday is VE weekly triage meeting at 1700 UTC to 1900 UTC. I saw that slot as free earlier, but somebody changed the timings. So when should be move our meet to?

Quick reply on the go: let's keep the time but change venue: #wikimedia-ect

It is easier to tell people to move to a different chatroom than to change schedule a day before the meeting.

@NiharikaKohli, do you have access to (Outreachy applications for Wikimedia, currently 10)

If you have time, you could check that all the candidates that are eligible to GSoC are applying to that program as well.

@Qgil I think the deadline for Outreachy passed yesterday itself. I did talk to eligible candidates and ask them to participate in both.

@Qgil, nope I can't view that. I applied as a mentor which might let me see it.

Logs read. Very well done!

Alright, now all the attention needs to go in assuring that whoever is eligible for GSoC submits their proposal before the deadline. I think it is also important that all GSoC proposals have a Phabricator task, blocking the project idea task if there is one.

Mentors and microtasks are important of course, but we can be flexible with both after GSoC's deadline this Friday.

There was a question on IRC about completing more microtasks after the deadline. This is a good question, and the answer deserves to be documented. I think that candidates should be able to relax a bit after this Friday's deadline... if they have done the homework required.

If someone hasn't complete dany microtask, then sure. If someone still has to complete the proposal in Phabricator, then sure as well. If anybody gets questions or other requests from mentors or other community contributors in their tasks or in Google Melange, then yes please by all means. However, there is no point in keeping putting pressure on everybody, because if a candidate has done the homework with a decent proposal and a couple of satisfactory microtasks, probably that is all what mentors need to evaluate that candidate. If the mentors are still undecided, they should ask for whatever they are missing.

In fact, a lesson learned is that a video hangout during the selection process does wonders for mentors and candidates to know each other, and to see better what to expect from each other.

@Qgil okay. I'll add that to...Selection process page?

I'd also like to experiment with holding a bimonthly/monthly IRC meeting for the students, if you think it's a good idea. Keeping up with each-other's progress and listening to issues being faced by others can be a motivational thing. As a student, I'd feel comforted to know that I'm not the only person struggling with xyz thing.

Yes, and Yes please, by all means!

Maybe you can just organize the meetings one month after the other, without having to commit to them as "monthly meetings". This way you have more flexibility.

@Qgil, great! One more question: should I reach out to the Outreachy applicants who have just submitted an application on the Outreachy portal and ask them to create Phab tasks as well? The only way to do that is by email, apparently.

Yes, the first thing is to make sure that eligible applicants apply to GSoC. Then everybody needs their Phabricator task, yes. Thank you!

@NiharikaKohli, this is the email I sent a day like today a year ago:

Feel free to adapt it at will.

I think the main risk this year with the increased Phabricator transparency is that mentors start telling or acting as if some projects would be accepted and others declined. Everybody needs to understand that we cannot say absolutely anything to the candidates out of Google Melange, and even in Melange we can only ask them questions to evaluate them better. No resolutions and no hints before Google's announcement.

it is OK to decline those proposals in Melange that came as a pure stub, or that are completely out of scope for Wikimedia. If there are on-scope proposals in Melange that have been decently prepared and that are not related to any of our project ideas, then we should keep them open, asking them to create Phabricator tasks and warning them that finding mentors will not be easy. If mentors appear, the candidate will be evaluated just like the rest. If not, but the proposal is interesting, we can encourage them to keep it as a possible project and try in a next round.

Niharika, I will be paying attention to this task still during tomorrow Saturday, just in case you want feedback on anything. On Sunday I will start a week of vacation. :)

Mail sent to wikitech-l:

Hi there,

The application deadline for GSoC and Outreachy has passed. We have received:

- 44 GSoC applications from 43 candidates
- 10 Outreachy applications from 10 candidates including 5 who have also applied for GSoC

Several of the projects have received multiple proposals, making it hard for out mentors to choose the best from all the applicants. Everyone is invited to join in the selection process and actively ask the candidates questions about their proposals.

The GSoC proposals submitted can be found at

The Outreachy proposals submitted can be found at

For our students:

If you have not yet created a task for your project proposal on Phabricator yet, we encourage you to do that as soon as you can. If your proposal is complete and you have completed one or more relevant microtasks, you can sit back and relax now. If not, you should complete your application as soon as possible.

For the mentors:

All mentors must join the GSoC/Outreachy review websites ( and respectively) in order to privately evaluate the candidates.
I want to take the opportunity to remind all our mentors that under no circumstances are we allowed to reveal the results of the selection process before April 27th 1900 UTC when the official list will be out on Melange. Hence, no hints or resolutions must be given out on the Phabricator tasks or on Melange.

Some resources for the mentors:

- Guidelines for possible mentors:

- Our selection process:

- Lessons learned from the previous rounds:

By April 13 we need to decide how many slots we want to request in both programs. In GSoC we request a number of slots to Google which we might or might not get. In Outreachy, we fund some slots, we might request more and then we might or might not get them.

Questions? Just ask.


Back from vacation. Thank you for your work these days? Is there something specific do you want me to help on?

Hey @Qgil. Hope your vacation was fun. :)
Not really. When you have a bit of spare time look at the number of slots I asked for in Melange and see if they look fine to you.
One question: If I assign people as mentors to a proposal, does that suffice or they need to click "Wish to mentor" themselves too?

The number of slots requested seems about right, although I would prefer to ask for the same min / max, based on clear commitments from mentors. It's happening.

I think it is better that all mentors mark "Wish to mentor" the proposals that they wish to mentor indeed. This way we avoid any risk of confusion about whether a potential mentor really wanted to mentor a project or not.

This task was part of ECT-March-2015, and it is still open and assigned. Assuming that it belongs to ECT-April-2015 as well. Otherwise please edit accordingly.

This is almost done. I'll be attending the de-duplication meeting tomorrow just in case we run into issues.

Great! Is the Outreachy front just as clear?

@Qgil, I have made the necessary selections on the Outreachy website. I didn't hear back from them.

The deduplication meeting for GSoC passed uneventfully, as expected.

Are you ready for the announcement today? For what is worth this is the (quite straightforward) announcement I sent last year:

I'll start drafting the announcement for this round. Thanks for the reminder! :)

This is now completed. The announcements regarding results went out yesterday. Marking as resolved.