Internships/Make a Small Contribution

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Once you decide on the project you are most interested in, the most important thing you need to do before submitting an application is to make the required small contribution to that project. The contribution should be relevant to the project you are proposing to work on, meaning it should be for the same software module or show the skills you'll be drawing on in working on the project. You should ask the project's mentor for a suggestion for what a suitable contribution can be. If you have an idea about what you'd like to do for your first contribution, feel free to propose it. While working on your contribution, you should feel free to ask for help from the mentor or from other people in the project's IRC channel. It is typical that once you submit your contribution, your mentor or another person who reviews it will have some feedback about what you can improve in it. Please be sure to follow up on the reviewer's feedback until your contribution is ready to be included in the project. It's best to allocate time over several weeks for this process and to start as early as possible.

Examples of small projects may be

  • Fix a coverity scan issue.
  • Fix an existing bug.
  • Make a tiny improvement.
  • Write some test code (for example for the Xen Hypervisor, see Xen Test Framework)

You will need to download and run the code for the project and create a patch that addresses what the goal of the small project. Your patch may end up being just a few lines of code, but this demonstrates a willingness to learn and get involved. You will need to post and get your patch reviewed and are likely go through several iterations of the patch review, where you will get some comments about how you can improve the patch and will need to follow up with an updated patch.

While you'll only need to contribute to one project for your application (and GSoC does not require any). While only one contribution is required to be considered for Outreachy, we find that the strongest applicants make multiple contributions throughout the application process, including after the application deadline. After making your initial contribution, you are encouraged to continue working with your mentor on additional contributions as your time allows.