Participating in GCI with FOSSASIA

For those of you readers who are reading my blog for the first time, let me introduce myself, I am Aditya Jyoti Paul, aka TechGuyAditya , from M. P. Birla Foundation Higher Secondary School, Kolkata. I am 17  years old, Maths and computers addict. I have participated in numerous competitions and I am also an avid quizzer.

So here I am back with another post about my participation and tasks in GCI, by the Fossasia community. Read on to get to know about the various tasks and how to complete them.

I was introduced to Google CodeIn last year and since then, there has been no looking back. Doing tasks, making pull requests, seeing them get accepted and merged, talking to mentors, interacting with the community, all this has been a terrific experience.

Some basics:

Open Source

Open Source is not just programming. It is about working with other people to find the best solution. Being a part of the community is an essential part of success in Google Code-in. The best students are the ones who not only work hard on their projects but also participate on IRC and help answer questions others have

Quality over Quantity

It’s not about being the student who completes the most tasks, that only gets you to the top 10 — it doesn’t mean you will be a grand prize winner or even a finalist. Many students who completed the most tasks for their organization were not named as Grand Prize Winners because they did everything solo and didn’t get involved in the community, or because they did only easy tasks and did not make any substantial contribution to the community.

Programming Skills

If you work on coding tasks, you should be comfortable in the programming language required for that task. If you aren’t confident in your skills, you might want to start with a non-coding task. If you are more comfortable with HTML or CSS, consider taking on a task related to a project’s website content. Do not expect mentors to teach you how to program.

Beginner Tasks

The tasks in Google CodeIn require varying levels of experience in the field. There are beginner tasks that let the starters get involved with the various organizations, mentors and also fellow coders. Each beginner can however claim a maximum of two beginner tasks. Links to the two beginner tasks I did are:

These tasks are a great way to get to know the community.

Types of Tasks:

Documentation

Research

Outreach

Training

User Interface

Quality Assurance

Other: If you have an idea that may help an organization, reach out to them and let them know! Sometimes the best task is one that the organization hasn’t even considered yet.

One of my first tasks was improving the GCI webpage for Fossasia, adding mentors and students. It is a  website with pictures of all mentors and students of Google Code-In, including student projects, blogs and much more. I added  Jason Wong as a mentor, and myself as a student. You can check it out at gci16.fossasia.org.

Being a part of the LibreHeath community was another groundbreaking experience. LibreHealth is an umbrella organization where multiple health information technology projects collaborate. It is driven by real needs of patients and last-mile clinicians who want to improve health and health service delivery.

I also set up a Loklak server on my local machine, and collected a million tweets. Big data analytics is the process of examining large data sets to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information.

Loklak helps you to Collect, search, download and visualize messages from various sources: tweets, Youtube descriptions and from more social media sources. This is one of the most powerful media mines right now.

All this would never have been possible without the help of the Fossasia community and of course Google CodeIn. More information about Fossasia can be found on the oficial website and the Wikipedia page.

All over, getting to know the community members is something that is really great. Mentors Hong Phuc Dang, Mario Behling, Robby O’Connor, John Vandenberg among others have helped me all the way till the end. In these communities, you will also make new friends, find people with similar interests and ideas, and this will help a great deal in finishing the projects faster.

So what are you waiting for? There are channels of Fossasia on Slack and Gitter. Join them to be a part of the community as well, and start contributing to open source.

As always, you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Github. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below, and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for interesting tech news and facts. Cheers.

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One thought on “Participating in GCI with FOSSASIA

  1. I like the structure as I expect that people who are not so familiar with open-source will get a useful basic impression. Also, they can have a look at how to participate. I like to focus on the community: I agree that is why I participate in FOSSASIA – the people. Thanks!

    Like

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