Undergraduate Capstone Open Source Projects

The Real Challenge of UCOSP

Posted by Anton Markov on 2010/04/05

“The real challenge of GSoC is not the coding, it’s learning to work with a community,” wrote Matt Mackall to the Mercurial mailing list a couple days ago with regard to the upcoming Google Summer of Code projects: http://selenic.com/pipermail/mercurial/2010-April/030996.html

I believe this applies equally well to us: the real challenge of UCOSP is not the coding, it’s learning to work with a community. This is especially true for the Mercurial team because we are working with such a large, established, global community of developers. Working within our UCOSP team was alright for our initial warm-up projects where we built new Mercurial extensions or added isolated features, but it became very important when we started working on the bfiles extension. We collaborated extensively with Greg Ward, the creator of bfiles. Towards the end, he helped us extensively with combining and polishing our patches, and as a result, they integrated smoothly into his tree. The more we engaged the developer community, the more productive we became.

The post that I link to has some other great pointers for anyone new to an opensource project – not necessarily those doing it for credit or money. It’s worth a read.

One Response to “The Real Challenge of UCOSP”

  1. I completely agree with you: The challenge of UCOSP is not the coding, it’s learning to work with a community!

    And this is really a skill worth having/teaching.
    Enterprise and academic can no longer ignore the opensource community. It’s everywhere and it’s moving fast.

    The university try to keep them-self disconnected from the enterprise world because they don’t want to turn CS degree in JavaSchools. But i think they can’t ignore “opensource” because it’s synonym of innovation and cooperation instead of competition. So research activity have all to win to embrace the opensource community.

    So keep the good work.
    Hope you appreciated the journey.

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