Google Code-In 2011 - Synopsis

On 17th January, Google Code-In, a contest for pre-university students with the aim of encouraging them to participate in open source development, came to an end. Over 550 students had the chance to complete a wide range of tasks and contribute to eighteen open source projects in total. I've been one of them myself, and in this post I would like to share with you my work, experience and thoughts regarding the contest.

The contest lasted over eight weeks. During that period, I had the chance to complete 31 tasks for eight open source projects, gaining 87 points. Here's a short summary of the tasks I completed for these projects (in alphabetical order):

There are quite a few things that I think that kept me away from completing even more tasks. We all understand that mentors did their best and devoted much of their time to help and advise other students; I deeply appreciate their time and effort. There were some problems however, where it took mentors 48, 72, 96 or even more hours to reply to their students. I mean, it would be great if students could work on two tasks at the same time, thus reducing the chance of "loosing valuable time"; just my personal thought if there is a possibility of running the contest again next year. Apart from that, there were certain cases in which the orgs decided to change the difficulty of their tasks, which significantly affected the  student rankings; for example a student could complete a task for 4 points in the beginning, where another student could  complete exactly the same task (from the same org) for 2 points after some time. In that case, the first student took 4 points, where the second took 2 points (let's say) for completing exactly the same task. Everything else was fine.

The contest was more than great and I would like to thank all the people who made it possible (including students, mentors, administrators). Many young people were introduced to open source, where other students who were already aware of open source had the chance to work even more closely with the mentors. It was a big success.

As you may have seen, I did not complete any tasks which had to do with programming. Why is that? Simply because I'm not quite experienced with programming, yet. I've seen many people hating other who can't contribute by writing code; that's not right at all.. "You can't program in the X or Y language?" The answer is no, I'm not quite skilled yet. And I am pretty confident however that I have proved with my contributions that no programming skills are required in case someone wishes to get involved with open source. Make a step forward, we won't bite you for sure. :P

This year I didn't make it to the top 10 (as I originally planned) for various personal reasons. The experience gained and the chance of collaborating with other people were much greater values of the contest. I'd definitely like to see the contest again next year. For now, I look forward to continue contributing to the above open source projects and I will keep being actively involved with my current ones. But of course, I will need to dedicate much of my time studying for school first. See you around soon! :)