The days are getting hotter, students from all around the globe waiting for 24th march, the day Google starts accepting proposal for this years summer of code program. More and more students are attracted to FOSS development by such a single program. You can see this if you visit the GSoC mailing list or IRC channel. I am really happy since most of the newcomers are Indians. Actually there was a great effort from various organizations to motivate students.
Whenever I enter into an IRC channel, I usually listen to see what is going on there. Last day when I was there in a high traffic IRC channel of a major project, serious discussions were going on between a student and a developer. It was clear from the way of asking questions, that the student is new to the field of open source development. He was repeatedly asking how can he participate in GSoC and as usual the developer asked him to visit the GsoC 2008 web page and also to read the faqs. But the student was complaining that he is really confused by seeing those stuffs there in those pages. so he was asking the developer to help him. At last the developer explained everything in detail and the happy student left the channel saying that he would meet him the next day.
Really I was stunned by seeing such a behavior in an irc channel and also felt respect to the developer for his patience. I thought everything was over, but just after the student left the channel, the co-developers started discussing on the ongoing approach of students from X country. They called 'bad X students' and also one among them told, it had been clear from last years proposals that
"students from X country are always dependent on others". Actually, they were trying to generalize the attitude/behavior of students from the country. It was clear from their words that they are not going to read any proposals from those students.
Students, so you have to be serious when you start with GSoC. “I am not a master. Even then within the limits of my experience these are some of my advice to applicants.”
Try to learn things yourself ! : You should have enthusiasm to learn new things. I am not talking about those who simply boast that he/she is very happy to learn new things. If you consider the behavior of the above mentioned student, he is simply saying he is really confused by seeing the GsoC faq. You shouldn't do like that, you should try to read and understand yourself. How can an organization accept a proposal from a student who can't even understand a simple faq?
IRC channel and Mailing List : These two are the places where the discussions of development projects take place. Here you can find developers and you can have discussions with them.
Install xchat or some other IRC Client.
In debian :
$ apt-get install xchat
IRC Channels are not just like your chat rooms. You need to understand some of the basic things before entering such a channel. Also
Hi/Bye : It is not necessary to greet everyone personally. A simple 'hi' is enough and never expect everybody to greet you back. The same applies to good bye.
Be a good listener. You wish to get answers to your questions as soon as possible, but the people there in an IRC channel might be answering to some others question. Sometimes they might be in serious discussions or meetings. Understand that their time is valuable as yours! Listen at least one minute to get an impression of what was discussed.
What is a mailing list? I am sure most of you might be a member of at least one such groups either Google groups or yahoo groups. so I don't want to explain that to you. But you have to follow some simple rules when you post your reply.
Post below the quoted text, because top posting breaks the logical sequence.
Quote what's needed to get context. It's better you delete those unwanted sentences, otherwise it will be waste of resource and attention.