Saturday, September 15, 2007

SoC Experience: Introduction

Hello world again. Just almost a year behind the schedule, this is the first post in series offering some advice for SoC participants, that, very hopefully, will be at least a bit useful to somebody.

SoC has changed my life, in a sense. In summer 2006, I applied to work on the GCC with this project. I was accepted and successfully completed my project, although at a significantly reduced scope. Then I got to travel a little bit, to see how Google is doing in London. And a year later, this has helped me to land an internship position half a world away at Google. And my work here involves continuing my old SoC project. What more could I ask for right now?

That's why I want to share some of the things I learned. While searching for advice a year ago, I have found many excellent resources on how to write an application (all of them linked to below), yet there are some things which I want to emphasize more. Most important of them is the need to communicate early and often – in general communication, soft skills, etc. is something that us engineers tend to dismiss and this is a big mistake.

So I am writing down advice based on my personal experience, with added advice from other sources that I can relate to. Of course, it is very subjective and in no way I can guarantee that it is correct and true in all (or any) situations. Also, parts of it will seem like a very common sense. That's because it is. But common sense tends to be forgotten or vary person to person, so I feel I should include "very obvious“ stuff as well.

Here is the table of contents for easier navigation. I will convert it to links as I add new material.

  1. Introduction (this post)
  2. Summer of Code: the big picture
  3. Choosing an interesting project idea
  4. Planning to write an application
  5. Writing tips
  6. CV and qualifications
  7. Summer comes
  8. Conclusion
Finally, if nothing else is useful, then at least this part will definitely be. This is a list of links to other SoC participation advice, written by much smarter people than me, with SoC mentors among them, whose advice matters much more directly than mine.
Good luck!
Next: The big picture of SoC


Shahzad Saeed said...

Great post bro, I'll definitely recommend my readers to this blog.
Thanks for this post

Laurynas said...

Shahzad, I am glad you liked it :)