GCI 2011

The Perl Foundation is hoping to take part in the Google Code-in once again this year. This is a programme under which students aged between 13 and 17 are able to undertake short, well defined tasks for open source projects, and in return they will get a tee-shirt, a certificate, gain credits and can also be paid up to $500 for their work by Google. The ten students with the most credits at the end of the programme will also be invited to visit the Google headquarters.

This is a wonderful opportunity that we have to get young students involved in open source software in general and Perl in particular. One of the aims of the GCI programme is to find those who will become long-term contributors and ensure the future of open source projects. So if you want to help ensure the long-term viability of Perl, then please get involved with GCI.

If you are a module author, or you are involved in a Perl project, WE NEED YOUR HELP! But you can also benefit, so this is a win-win proposition.

We need a set of tasks to make available to students, along with mentors willing to help students complete the tasks, if necessary. We need tasks in the following eight categories:

Code: Tasks related to writing or refactoring code
Documentation: Tasks related to creating/editing documents
Outreach: Tasks related to community management and outreach/marketing
Quality Assurance: Tasks related to testing and ensuring code is of high quality
Research: Tasks related to studying a problem and recommending solutions
Training: Tasks related to helping others learn more
Translation: Tasks related to localization
User Interface: Tasks related to user experience research or user interface design and interaction


We need to submit our application by 1st November 2011 supported by a list of tasks. Ideally we should have at least eighty tasks covering all the categories above. Half of the tasks will be for the first phase of the programme, and the remainder for the second phase.

So, we need at least eighty tasks in the next five days. If every module author or project member were to provide just one task we could easily do that. Please take ten minutes to read up on GCI, select a task and add it to the wiki today.

Tasks might include such items as fixing bugs (check your RT queue), adding tests for specific areas or to improve code coverage in general, writing a tutorial, translating documentation, making a video promoting the project or demonstrating its use, adding new features, researching potential new areas, or anything else which could help the project.

Please take a look at the wiki for more information and add your tasks to the ideas page.

Please help! Every module author and project member can make a difference in helping to ensure the future of open source, Perl and your own project. Add a task now. Really, Just do it. Then add another one tomorrow. And the next day. We can't have too many. We already know that you are generous and happy to give back to the Perl community. Please consider this new way of doing so. If you don't think you would be able to act as a mentor, please add the task anyway, and we will find someone else to mentor. Thank-you for your help.

Oh, and it's great for the students too, so if you have any way of publicising this to appropriate students too, please do that. But add a task first!

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About Paul Johnson

user-pic I don't really blog about Perl.