Foresight

Student Welfare Group

DHIRAJ KUMAR

GOOGLE SUMMER OF CODE

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1) Please provide a brief introduction of yourself.

Hello, I am Dhiraj, a third year undergraduate from the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. I am a boarder of RK Hall of Residence. Since a young age, I have always been into computers. I was fascinated by the limitless possibilities of the Internet. I used to run several blogs while I was in school. Thus programming came naturally to me. These days I like to work on statistical and web applications that lower the bar for scientific computing.

2) Can you elaborate the selection procedure for GSoc?

For GSoC, a student has to select an organization, and under that organization, they have to choose a project which interests them and would like to work on during the summers. They contribute to that organization/project, make contact with the mentors and submit a proposal of what they want to achieve by the end of the GSoC period. Mentors review each submitted proposal for a project and select a student (and in some cases two) who would be joining them remotely to work on the given project for a whole 3 months.

3)Can you provide a little insight about the topic/project in which you worked upon for clearing GSoc?

My GSoC project was under Mozilla. During the summers I worked on Iodide (https://github.com/iodide-project/iodide), a scientific computing tool for exploration and analysis on the web. Through Iodide you can work with languages like JavaScript, Python (numpy stack included) on the web itself without needing a server (which tools like Jupyter uses) to create reports and perform analysis on the web itself. To know more about what it does and how it works read https://hacks.mozilla.org/2019/03/iodide-an-experimental-tool-for-scientific-communicatiodide-for-scientific-communication-exploration-on-the-web/

4) How was your overall working experience?

I had an absolutely amazing experience while working with the Mozilla developers. Since most of the members of my team were from different cities we had Video conference meetings every Thursday. Through those meetings, I got to learn a lot about how professional developers work. Since Iodide was a nascent project, I also learned how the development of a new product takes place. The return I got from GSoC was something I can’t possibly quantify. The huge stipend is not even the most amazing thing about it.

5)According to you who all should ideally try for GSoc?

Students who have taken the initiative to code on their own should definitely try for GSoC. Even if you fail, you get to learn a lot of things which are extremely useful as you progress further with your career.  PDS alone would be of no substantial use. Self-motivated people who love developing software have a much higher chance of getting into GSoC.

6) What advice would you like to give to the people who are trying for GSoc presently?

One of the biggest factors which is often overlooked by students is that you should keep a very good relationship with the mentors. You should communicate with the mentors and the team once in a while. A strong communication bond highly increases your chances of getting selected. Keep solving issues and be in touch with the community.

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