Call for Organization Admins for OBF’s 2014 Google Summer of Code participation

Update: The deadline for responding has been extended to January 25.

GoogleSummer_2014logo The 2014 Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is coming up soon. The published timeline puts the mentoring organization applications from Feb 3 to 14.

OBF participated on behalf of our member projects in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Those participations were both important and successful. Through them, our projects gained new contributors, new features, and new community members. The mentors involved from our projects learned as much from the experience as the students, and formed bonds. The mentoring organization payment allowed OBF to sponsor community events and infrastructure.

To participate this year, we have to designate 2-3 people as primary and backup organization administrators. This is an important role, and we are looking for people from our community to step forward to serve.

An org admin’s role is in many ways that of a cat herder. The whole team of mentors and admins creates the experience for the students, but it falls on the admin to “keep it together.” Google holds the mentoring organization, not its mentors, accountable for the actions (or non-actions) of its mentors or community, and it falls on the org admin to carry that accountability through to the org’s mentors. The org admin’s responsibilities include:

  • Representing our online face to GSoC, in particular to GSoC students
  • Shepherding our mentoring organization application, and submitting it.
  • Working out processes and rules for mentors as well as students that promote transparency, fairness, and protect from late-in-the-game surprises.
  • Knowing GSoC rules and processes, and making sure ours are consistent with them.
  • Reminding participants of rules, and enforcing them in the event it is necessary.
  • Mediating, and sometimes arbitrating between students and mentors when needed.
  • Ensuring that GSoC timelines are met by everyone.

The person we are looking for will genuinely care about the well-being of our communities, is well organized, stays calm in email storms, communicates clearly, has good people skills, and generally is known as a good listener.

If you are interested in helping us out in this role, please email us (by Jan 25, 2014) a statement at board@open-bio.org explaining how you would fit well in this role, and what your vision for our GSoC participation is. You need not be a developer or programmer to respond, but for now we do require that you have been active in some capacity in at least one of our project’s communities. Please include in your email a brief summary of such activities even if you are a core developer for one of our projects.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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