Community Bonding and getting started

4 min read

In the official GSoC timeline, there's a Community Bonding period on May 7–27. To quote the glossary, it's

The period of time between when accepted students are announced and the time these students are expected to start coding. This time is an excellent one to introduce students to the community, get them on the right mailing lists, working with their mentors on their timeline for the summer, etc.

At the start this period, we're also given emails from Google about what we need to do. We are tasked to set up a Payoneer account to receive our stipend later. We were also invited to a mailing list for current (and past) students. Some students decided to create a Telegram group for discussions with other students all over the world.

I posted on the django-developers mailing list to ask about communication channels we'll use during the program, and one of my mentors said that he will send an email to get me (and another student) started.

On May 13, my mentors (there are four) sent introductory emails on how to get started. The plans are quite similar to what I put in my proposal, so I guess I'm on the right track. I assigned a related ticket on Trac to myself as suggested, to let people know that I will be working on it.

One of my mentors also suggested to have an email exchange each week. Besides that, he also suggested to use the django-core-mentorship mailing list for a narrow implementation discussion we can have in public. For "project update" type of emails, he suggested the usual django-developers list.

On the other hand, it was the last week before exams at my university, and I had a lot of group projects and homework due that week. I didn't have a lot of spare time to be actively involved in the community, so I just tried to read more resources that will help me in my project. My exams also went from May 20 to May 25, so those two weeks were very busy for me.

It didn't end there, though. I also had one final group project due on May 29. It was originally due on May 27, but it was extended since some students found it too hard. I had finished most of my part before the deadline, but I still had to help my friends to make sure our project ran smoothly.

It was a project for my Databases course, in which we're tasked to create a web app with no help from any kind of ORM. Most of us, myself included, decided to use Django. However, since we had to write our own SQL queries, we weren't allowed to use Django models. This was quite a challenge, and it was very interesting for me since my GSoC project also involves the database layer of Django.

The coding period of this year's GSoC actually kicked off on May 27, so I started later than I should. However, I was able to learn a thing or two about how Django works with its database layer from my group project. I guess it wasn't really a waste of my coding period after all.

Thankfully, my mentors have been very understanding and supportive of my conditions and decisions. I appreciate them a lot!

Over the first week, I started working on a proof-of-concept JSONField for SQLite, which I will explain in the next post.