Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Summer of Code: Writing an Application

(Introduction and table of contents)

By now the preparations are done and it's time to write. Here is a list of assorted writing tips, in no particular order.

  • Copying project description from proposed project list does not cut it.
  • Choose a short but descriptive title, that will create enough interest to read the whole proposal.
  • Whatever the idea, make sure to state it briefly and clearly (surprisingly, some people fail to do so [1]).
  • List deliverables clearly and specifically, both optional and required, and designate them as such.
  • Read dev docs, code, play with the code, try to actually implement something in order to help fill in technical details of your application.
  • Some projects might require you to provide a specific schedule, even though you might have only a vague idea here (But how do you know that your project is going to take three months then?). Playing (see above) with the code should help there, and don't be afraid to change timeline later as needed. Make sure to communicate that!
  • Do not leave template text in [1]. If you want to give credit to template author, do it clearly in your own words.
  • Use the provided form for application as much as possible. Do not just include a link to external web page here. If 7500 symbols are not enough, shorten [1].
  • Include brief references to support your claims - links to e-mail archives, specific chapters in the development documentation, etc.
  • Should be obvious, but check your spelling and grammar.
The part of application that outlines your qualifications, including CV, deserves separate treatment. That's coming next.

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