In 2014, OBF had six students in the Google Summer of Code 2014™ (GSoC) program mentored under its umbrella of Bio* and related open-source bioinformatics community projects: Loris Cro (Bioruby) with mentors Francesco Strozzi and Raoul Bonnal; Evan Parker (Biopython) with mentors Wibowo Arindrarto and Peter Cock; Sarah Berkemer (BioHaskell) with mentors Christian Höner zu Siederdissen and Ketil Malde; and three students contributed to JSBML: Victor Kofia (mentors: Alex Thomas and Sarah Keating), Ibrahim Vazirabad (mentors: Andreas Dräger and Alex Thomas), and Leandro Watanabe (mentors: Nicolas Rodriguez and Chris Myers).
As a change from earlier years in which OBF participated in GSoC as a mentoring organization, in 2014 we purposefully defined our umbrella as much more inclusive of the wider bioinformatics open-source community, bringing it more in line with the annual Bioinformatics Open-Source Conference (BOSC). In part this was also motivated by “paying it forward“, a concept central to growing healthy open-source communities, after the larger domain-agnostic language projects such as SciRuby and PSF had extended an open hand to OBF mentors when OBF did not get admitted as a GSoC mentoring organization in 2013. In the end, four out of the six succeeding student applications were for projects outside of the traditional core Bio* projects, a result with which everyone won: We had a terrific crop of students, our community grew larger and stronger, and open-source bioinformatics was advanced in a more diverse way than would have been possible otherwise. Continue reading