GSoC Proposal Rejected: My Story

This was supposed to be an article about Why Privacy Matters, but here we are. So before I move further I want to clear something first what this article is not about: This article is not a sob story about my rejection. What I am trying to do here is exploring the whole process and realize what I learned, where I made mistakes, and finally we will explore some opportunities for those whose GSoC proposal was also rejected.

My story starts on Jan 11, I created my first PR in Amahi’s iOS app. It was just an update to the documentation nothing much. I noticed another guy also contributing to the same project and fixing bugs in the code, I was like ok, there is some competition for GSoC. And to give an idea who has never tried for GSoC, I would categorize January to be a little early for fixing bugs. Generally, people just update readme, get familiar with the code of conduct of the organization, and talk with maintainers.

Few days pass by and I received an email from the same guy, and here starts one of the longest conversations I ever had over email. He asked if I was working for GSoC and introduced his name, Anubhav Singh. After some time we exchanged our phone numbers and just helped each other through any problems during our iOS Development journey. Isn’t that the whole point of open-source?

It’s now the end of Jan, and I still have made just one PR and Anubhav now has 5 in his name. My excuse? I didn’t get time due to Assignments and all the tests my college was throwing at me. Looking back I just see how much I mismanaged my time. Here is the first lesson, Time is Precious, manage it wisely. Not just for GSoC but a life-lesson.

Now comes Feb, and I decided to hop the organization just because I could. I started contributing to the SUSI Ai iOS app in FOSSASIA. When I was completed my usual PRs like updating documentation and time came to fix some bugs, I was too lazy to do so and again hoped organization. Now I was in my third org, it was Catrobat’s iOS app, Catty. I was unable to figure out the issue tracker, and I was hoping to change my org once more. But now it was around 15th of Feb and I thought it was better to just wait 5 more days for Google to announce organizations. My second lesson: Choose an organization early and stick with it, at least until you have made some meaningful contribution.

One thing that worked in my favor during all the organizations hoping that I got in contact with many people. Talking to other members of the community helps you a lot, not only in GSoC but in life. Told you about Anubhav Singh?Yes! Some people I got in contact with were Abhishek Sansanwal, Chashmeet Singh, Krishna Rai, Manikaran Singh to name a few. They helped a lot throughout this journey. When someone says opensource is all about the community, the mean it. This was one of my stronger points: I cold email and messaged a lot. Even though I wasn’t sure I would get a reply but still I did. Linkedin is arguably one of the best platforms to do so. You decided what you want to achieve, search on Linkedin who already achieved that, and talk to them. Don’t reinvent the wheel.

Let’s jump to 16th March now. And you know what started on 16th March? The Application Period. To give you more perspective, this is around the time when my college closed due to all the COVID stuff. I have decided that I will be contributing to AOSSIE because I liked the idea of making a new iOS app mentioned in the idea list. The maintainers of the org gave us the task to design a UI for the app and also design a basic working mockup of the app based on the UI mockup. So start creating a proposal and working on the UI Mockup. And before the end of the Application period I have turned in all the tasks. The mistake I made here: I was not much Active on the official channel. You need to talk to the community man.

This is now the end of March. And the deadline for Application Submission is soon approaching. I managed to get a review from the maintainers for my proposal and submit it just before the deadline. Now starts the period, where many just gave up and wait for the results. But this is considered the golden period by GSoCers. Your proposal won’t even matter if maintainers see you as an active member of the organization. You need to be active after the submission of the proposal. You can share some projects you are working on, make some PRs, and generally be active.

Its the day of the result now, and you know by the heading of the title how it went. Just a little advice from my side, whenever you are checking the result of anything please be seated. Ya it’s a life lesson. So here comes is the main thing you must be thinking, What comes next?

Glad you asked! Quite honestly I don’t know. I am just exploring more opportunities and internships. One of the things that are helping me in finding is this repo me and Anubhav created that contains all the open-source opportunities available for students. Rest I plan to mentor at Google Code-In and hopefully get into GSoC’21. Let’s hope for the best. I will keep you updated. And reach out if you need any kind of help, I will be happy to help out. And Remember :

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas A. Edison

Maybe only ONE in my case. 😉

I am an engineering student in NSUT, formerly NSIT. Currently living in New Delhi and hope to live here till my last breath. I am a technology nerd and a photographer. I also love reading books while cuddled in my blanket, although I don't get enough time to read.

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