As we near the end of GSoC 2021, I want to highlight something:
It’s a primary goal of Google Summer of Code that the student participants stick around long after the program has ended and continue contributing to their
– Google mentor guide.
Let’s be realistic though. Donating hours of effort to a project every week is hard. You’ll be continuing to study, looking for work and whatever else - so how can you become a long-time contributor?
The good news is that even with a tiny time commitment you can still contribute a lot to GNOME. You’ve just spent 3 months becoming an expert on at least one part of GNOME. Here are some ideas to make the most of that expertise
Stay in touch: Here on Discourse, you can watch tags that interest you instead of checking every day. On Matrix and IRC, you can “lurk” and join in the conversation whenever you get time.
Subscribe to the project: On Gitlab you can subscribe to email notifications for your project. You’ll receive a lot of email from email@example.com, so set up an email filter to separate that from your regular email. Now you can keep an eye on what’s happening in the project just by checking your email.
Promote the project: Many folk aren’t aware what GNOME can do or how to get started with a Linux distribution. You can contribute by promoting the tools you love in your university, your friends and family and your future employers.
Provide reviews: There’s no official process to begin reviewing merge requests in GNOME. If you touched some code, you can provide useful review comments to future developers who propose changes.
Open detailed issues: A well written issue report provides a good starting point for future newcomers. Think about what info was helpful for you when you got started. As well as new issues, you can add questions and comments on existing issues to clarify things that might not be obvious.
If you do have more free time and want to get further involved GNOME then we have plenty to do! Besides adding features, we always need help with automated testing, bug fixing and documentation of the existing code. If you want to jump in somewhere completely new, the Initiatives list and merge requests in need of attention give starting points.
You can work at your own pace. In a volunteer-driven project, it’s normal that a feature which looks simple might be developed in pieces over months or years. It’s important to keep detailed notes on the relevant issue tracker during the process.
Of course there’s no obligation to contribute once GSOC is over, but I hope I’ve shown that it can be easy to stay involved in GNOME. Remember that if you can demonstrate ongoing contributions,however modest they are, you can apply to be a GNOME Foundation member. Whenever you’re ready, speak to a Foundation member such as your mentor - we will be glad to hear from you