User talk:James/StudentApplicationTips

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  • Gale 20 Mar 09, 19:35 UTC: James, an excellent read, but is this a good idea? As a casual prospective student reading this, unaware of how open source works, might I think "Uh? are there splits among the developers?". People will find this without you pointing people to it privately. Many times better IMHO, to modify GSoC Selection Criteria (currently linked to on GSoC Skills and GSoC FAQ) to be explicitly a blog page with developer "takes" on what will influence us into selecting one applicant rather than another. Otherwise, as I said I think we should just delete GSoC Selection Criteria for the same reasons we deleted the "Writing Proposals" page - having a page that is merely a link to the ideas of some other organisation doesn't look terribly good.
  • James: Let me do it this way, OK? We do say elsewhere that different mentors have different views and opinions. It's fairest to the students to know that what I say here is just my opinion. I believe I am more gung-ho about new features than anyone else is, for example. Learning how different opinions work in practice is part of their learning experience, and I really don't see us losing a good student over it perhaps not being 100% clear from the outset that we work well as a team. It's more important to not give the impression to students that my criteria are universal - and particularly to sign post that the mentors who mentor will be the making selection decisions. This is also an easier page for me to write and maintain. Being under my User: page I can be brutal about reverting edits that I don't like. I actually think it would be great if other people involved created their own tips pages too....
    • Gale: James, perhaps you misunderstood, but my query was solely about it looking divisive to start a page essentially on its own, apparently aloof (when I saw it) from GSoC Selection Criteria which itself had no original content. I did not make that comment lightly.

      But I was not suggesting in the least it was divisive to note we had different opinions, if you read what I say there and elsewhere. I'm absolutely fine as long as your page is linked to from an "official" GSoC page - it's quite clear it's your slant, though I hope no-one would edit someone else's opinions wherever they were, except for a typo. I have to say though I see little point resurrecting the "Writing Good Proposals" panel now all the links are in the FAQ.

      Why not ask Richard if he agrees to posting this on the Selection Criteria blog or on a blog linked to it, and to perhaps expand it a little?

  • James: No problem Gale. I know I'm sounding a bit territorial about my opinions. On most wiki pages, where it is an unattributed statement, I'm perfectly happy for the wording to become less colourful and less opinionated, more consensus and even handed. Anyway, is what I have OK now, with the link, or does it still 'look divisive'?
    • Gale: I don't think it's divisive at all, as long as anyone's personal views (attributed as such) are either on the Selection Criteria page, or linked to on it. But I don't think it looks good to have permanent placeholder pages, so see if you thnk this helps and amend it if you don't.
  • I think the tip to look at the application from the point of view of a mentor is an important one, and should not be lost. That's what I was resurrecting. "Put yourself in the shoes of the mentors selecting the applications. Think about how they will see things." In the FAQ that suggestion is watered down, and then in the next sentence undermined by the 'Include...' which even makes it sound like those are the most relevant things! The tip is about changing how students think about the application. Many students don't think about 'what do the mentors care about'. For those who do it affects the whole application.
    • Gale: OK, it looks as if it bears being stressed more. I've tweaked that FAQ a bit. We can either also add there "Put yourself in the shoes of the mentors selecting the applications" and just link to that FAQ on GSoC Selection Criteria, or leave the hint box with the crunch line on the Selection Criteria Page. I'm happy either way, but why not just take the external links out of that box, which themselves water the main point down?
  • Re asking Richard, why not post your own selection tips similar to how I did? Why don't you ask Richard?
    • Gale: I'm not a mentor (even if I helped mentor students last year) or a core developer, so not my place! But, I will make a "suggestion" on summerofcode address that we should add some other slants here, so students can better appreciate the range of mentors' views.