Re: OPW; Where does the 500$ for each GSoC goes?


On Sat, Sep 13, 2014 at 7:50 PM, Sébastien Wilmet <swilmet gnome org> wrote:
With ~30 GSoC GNOME students, the GNOME Foundation receives ~15.000$.
And that every year. It is up to the GNOME Foundation to use this money
wisely. If what you say is correct, do we all agree that spending this
money for travel and accomodation sponsorship for GUADEC is the best way
to spend this money?

Enabling students to come to GUADEC is a good way to get them
integrated in the community and convert them into long term
contributors. Since we're already investing (mentor) time in them, we
might as well make sure this investment is effective.

What's more, if I remember correctly, the travel committee has a
policy that students shouldn't just get their full travel paid to have
vacations for free. They only get partial funding, so that they take
money out of their pocket too, so that they feel more responsible.

But we should stop guessing or making assumption now and wait for
someone from the travel committee or with the relevant knowledge about
that budget to confirm what is done with this money.

Maybe Asian students could be sponsored to go to GNOME Asia, European
students for GUADEC, American students for the GNOME Summit, and for
other regions in the world, go to the nearest conference (or organize a
local event).

GUADEC has the advantage of being at the right time, in the middle of
the internship.

I don't think lots of organizations accepted in GSoC spend the 500$
stipends for conferences.

Maybe they don't, but you'd have to compare the results too. Do they
get the same success rate when it comes to long term investment? Of
course it's difficult to evaluate and I wouldn't know where to get the

Also GNOME can not be compared with all other orgs because it's one of
the largest and the scale is not the same. There are many orgs that
only have one or two students when we have thirty to fourty. Some orgs
only have one representative who is a mentor and admin at the same
time, we have five or six people who are only admins in addition to
one mentor per intern.

Maybe the GNOME Foundation can collect the 15.000$ and every year do a
call for bid, like it has been done for the accessibility campaign.
Every project could be accepted, and the GNOME Foundation members could
vote to elect the best project.

Spending money that came to us via GSoC on a GSoc related expense kind
of makes sense, doesn't it?

Or as I said, each mentor could decide what to do with the 500$ stipend.

I don't see how that would be practical, we'd have thirty people who
each would vote for different things and spending $500 on one thing
thirty times may not be really efficient.

But I agree that conferences are great, to meet in person the mentor or
the team. But sponsoring travel and accomodation doesn't scale. You'll
have a higher probability that those 30 students will stay longer in
GNOME, that's a good thing. BUT if the developer experience is
significantly improved in GNOME, you'll maybe get _thousands_ more
developers using the GNOME platform, with hopefully a high percentage
contributing to GNOME itself.

I agree that this is one of the goals we should pursue but I'm not
sure GSoC should be seen as a way to get an income for that (or
anything else). Of course Google doesn't put any condition on the way
you spend the money, but using it on a related expense rather than
anything else seems pretty logical to me.

Alexandre Franke

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