Community Bonding Period

Getting into the process

When the accepted projects were announced, I was part of CERN-HSF under Geant4 project with my project being Performance analysis and Data Visualization. So, Now before we actually get started with the project, There is a phase of time known as Community Bonding Period.

Each Organization have their own set of rules, workflows and hierarchy to follow. To get new contributors familiar with the organization this period is crucial. In this time, Students get familiar with the work to be done in their community, know their mentors, plan their project in more details, receive guidelines for contribution, gets resources to gain knowledge on any topic etc.

My Process

Talking about my personal experience, On 20th May I got to know about the selection, Then I got a mail from mentor about an introductory call which we scehduled. In that, All of us Me and both of my mentors had a brief introduction. Further, We had more project oriented discussion about what part am I supposed to look on more often. Then I got some links to Guest Accounts in CERN which was to be used for further communication and activities. After, The first call, I was playing around the repository and had few errors and questions. So, We on the next week had another discussion call where they helped me get these things fixed. Then I was advised to start working on the project in order to get started. Mentors taught me how the reports were generated, How to generate CSV reports and I got to know more about perf. They shared few presentations and documentations by them which helped me in setting perf. Now, After this I generated the reports by myself, Converted them into HTML Table. At first I used a Python script using Pandas but It was not a good idea because it doesn’t allow much customization. So, I figured out by myself and got those table by using D3.js logic itself. Then once the tables were on the page, I worked for filtering out them.

I also got cleared that we were working on CMS which is a general purpose detector at Large Hadron Collider (LHC). I visited the CERN website and had a virtual tour of the CMS. Everything seemed like a rocket science to me, But I was blissfull to have even a virtual tour of it. I wonder how great the people working there might be. Meanwhile, There was a GSOC Global Summit on 3rd June. So, I have attended the whole summit. I have noted few learnings which I took from the summit which are as belows :

GSOC’22 Global Summit Learnings

  • Open Source is important for Computer Science.
  • People get into open source because either it interests you or it annoys you. Let’s say you use some software but you face some issue using it, So you get annoyed and say “Fine, I will do it myself” just like Thanos.
  • Technology is not about memorizing the concepts and codes. It is about understanding how things work.
  • It is really okay to be dumb and ask questions to mentors or even on technical forums.
  • Be a helper to the next person, By documenting your journey. (This line really got me and I just made standard formats for my GSOC code which initially I though I would fix it later. And also, I decided to write a lots of blogs about tech in upcoming times)
  • Find some time daily to review Pull Requests (PRs) for just programming errors, You will eventually learn the codebase and will help others.
  • Pasti Ada Jalan : This is an Indonesian saying which in english translates to “ There is always a way ”. In your journey, If you get stumbled at any point just know this.
  • Open Source teaches you to become democratic in life.
  • Mentors also faces issues. But they are better at figuring out those quickly. This skill comes with practice and experience.
  • Student of GSOC is just about learning the technology. But Mentor of GSOC is about learning the technology and management both.
  • GSOC also allows you to have clear insights about Product Management (PM) umbrella roles.
  • Knowing about different licesenses allows you to know your legal limits and strengths regarding the code that might seem interesting to you.
  • Promoting your open source work is important for appreciating yourself. It can be done by updating your Github Profile, Blogging, Micro-Blogging (Posts on Social Media), Conference, Meetings, Presentations, Checking if your project has a Author’s List and add your name in ReadMe if it has one such list.
  • If you still love open source after completion of the GSOC journey then you can write books, Travel to global summits, Give talks and just return your gratitude back to the community in any possible sense you can give.

This is how I utilized my community bonding time for GSOC. Now, The time has come to work for the project. I am really excited to work for it. I would also try documenting my journey so someone can get an idea about the things working in the project even if they are entirely new to this.