"So what have I done thus far", you might ask if you used the same archaically-flavoured spin on language that I do
Last week I was asked by Rafl (Florian Ragwitz) to help out with some of the promotion for this year's Perl Foundation's (tpf) participation in the Google Summer of Code. I should note, right away, that the main coordination efforts and drive for this year are being undertaken by Rafl himself. His Basic need was to get the word spread around a little more and because he knew I was a keen supporter of Perl and the community and an avid(-ish) writer he approached me.
I, of course, was glad to help. The Google Summer of Code has always struck me as one of the finest Open Source events on the calendar, and no that isn't me Google-gushing, those people that know me would be able to regale you on my occasional rants about the giant "G" and people's misconceptions of them as a company. But, that aside, this event is a real stand-out winner for the OSS communities. The event allows student participation in an Open Source project, the student is paid for their time and the project gains some valuable working code. It also allows projects to seek out new participants and to further spread their visibility. Google monitor the whole event and provides support and guidance, it is a 'total win situation'.
"So what have I done thus far", you might ask if you used the same archaically-flavoured spin on language that I do. Well, to begin I have written a couple of blog posts, MDK's "Google Summer of Code", and MDK's "More GSOC" which get automatically spun to the Ironman Challenge website and from thence to Twitter. I have tweeted about the challenge, of course, under my @shadowcat_mdk username. I submitted a piece, at the urging of and edited nicely by Ranguard (Leo Lapworth), for the Perl News website. I have also mentioned the call for students on the various mailing lists I subscribe to and on the Public Perl group on LinkedIn. The latest element was to create an A5 Flyer for Participation by students and mentors that could be distributed to as many locations as possible. There are one or two more options I have yet to pursue that I will be doing so in the next few days.
(One could also add this blog piece, even though it is a discursive item it still counts as promotion in a certain light.)
The real challenge now is to see if we can pick up students to participate and match them to mentors who will guide them through the rest of the challenge. That will mostly be handled by Rafl and his team of happy minions who will no doubt spend a great deal of time in the coming months ensconsed in that task. The first date of importance is the 28th March when the call for participating students to sign up to the challenge starts. I have no doubt that I will be blogging/tweeting about events as they happen and any important news that wings its way to me will be related so there is a good chance that you may hear me "harping" some more.
As noted, in the many other locations, if you have any suggestions for further promotion of the Google Summer of Code and Perl's participation, can spare some tuits to repeat the information, or print out and distribute flyers (and if you can translate the flyer to another language so that a version can be prepared and made available in that language), then that help would be much appreciated. You can contact me, through this blog, my mdk blog, via @shadowcat_mdk on Twitter, or by many/any other means.
If anyone has feedback (and until we have a commenting system) please don't hesitate to email me at: m.keating [at] shadowcat.co.uk, if your comments are useful, fun, or just plain interest to me, or if I think will be useful to others, then I will add them to the end of this post, let me know how you would like to be named (anon, nick etc.).
Mark Keating is: Managing Director of Shadowcat Systems Limited
Director and Secretary of Enlightened Perl Organisation
Co-Founder/Co-Leader of North-West England Perl Mongers
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Mark Keating is the organiser of the London Perl Workshop (since 2008), has joined the organising team for the QA Hackathon in 2011 and Dynamic Languages Conference 2011.