More about GCI 2011

The Google Code-in 2011 (GCI) will be starting shortly. This is the programme under which students aged between 13 and 17 years are encouraged to get involved in open source projects. The Perl Foundation would like Perl to be a part of this programme, bringing both short and long-term benefits to Perl and the students alike.

Many of you will have seen my previous post asking the Perl community for help in creating tasks for students. A few of you have subsequently added tasks to the ideas page. For this we are extremely grateful. Some of you may well be planning to add some tasks. We'll also be very grateful for these tasks.

It's almost time to submit our application. But for our application to be successful we really need to add more tasks. So I'm renewing my appeal for your help.

We need help from all sorts of people. From developers, from designers, from technical writers, from managers, from marketers, from QA people and testers, from architects, from trainers, from user interface specialists and from anyone who can speak more than one language. And if you're reading this and don't fit into any of those categories then you undoubtedly have other talents and we probably need you even more.

We need you to visit the ideas page and read about the sort of tasks we need. Then create a login and add a task. If you can't or don't want to create a login, please mail your task to me at

Here are some suggestions for tasks:

- Develop a new feature.
- Port to a new operating system.
- Fix a bug. (Go and check your RT queue.)
- Add tests for a feature.
- Add tests to improve coverage. (Take a look at cpancover).
- Add to or improve documentation.
- Write a tutorial.
- Make a tutorial video.
- Make a promotional video.
- Add internationalisation (I18N) to a module.
- Translate documentation, tutorials or web sites.
- Investigate API changes.
- Research new ideas. algorithms or libraries.
- Compare and contrast modules.

But feel free to let your imagination run wild. Any task that a young student could perform that would be beneficial to the project is fair game.

In addition, if you really cannot think of a task to add, but you would be willing to act as a mentor please add your name to the ideas page and note any areas in which you would be willing to mentor. In particular we are in need of mentors who would be able to assist with translation tasks, so if you speak more than one language please add your name and note which languages you speak. We also need mentors who would be happy to work with students on bugs in modules where the author is unable to do so. But we're very happy to accept all volunteers. So please either add a task or sign up as a mentor. (Or both.)

But this is getting very urgent. Our application needs to be on Tuesday so please don't delay and sign up today!

Thank you very much for your assistance. I trust that with your help this year's GCI will be even more successful than last year's.

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About Paul Johnson

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