GSoC Mentor Summit: Day 1

Today was the first day of the GSoC Mentor summit. I attended a few sessions and had several interesting hallway conversations with developers and leaders of projects from all over the world.

First, I attended a discussion about book sprinting, and did a recap of how our latest book sprint went (blog post to come!). We discussed the advantages of having the same group of people to two book sprints as a group, and how things seemed so much easier the second time around. We also had copies of the book that we’d hand-bound there to share. Lunch was spent chatting with Noirin and others about food, culture, travelling lots, and the hilariousness of having “Sotomayor” as a surname in Washington DC these days. Happy to have met a couple more Apache Foundation folks, and lovely to talk about names with an OpenNebula contributor. I also spent some time chatting with Greg Stark about the session on retaining students, and go over a few bits of inspiration he had for encouraging students to work on the more mundane aspects of PostgreSQL development.

Next I stopped upstairs to have a chat with Asheesh Laroia about new things he’s been up to around promoting free and open source community. He’d run a class recently to introduce new students to open source (at Penn State), and had some thoughts on what we should do next to make open source communities more welcoming. He also talked to me about Fedora Design Bounty, and how that model might be applied to other projects. Genius idea, and after reflecting on the idea a bit, maybe we could try it in pgsql-advocacy. Maybe. :)

I then breezed through the Chocolate session. Yum!

And went off to see about Bradley Kuhn‘s session on options for joining or starting non-profits around free software. He’s now executive director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and was giving out great advice around picking an umbrella organization, making the right choices early about where to put money (don’t use your personal paypal account!), and notes on where to go for help if you’ve got questions about what to do next. Not sure where the notes are for that session, but I’m sure contacting him for more information about Software Freedom Conservancy if you’re interested is an option.

Then we had the great Git Migration discussion. The notes were wonderful, and it seems like many people were either considering or were in the middle of a git conversion process. Two PostgreSQL developers were there, including Magnus Hagander, whose voice wasn’t working so well. I helped out a bit by giving a rough overview of how our process had worked, and pointing people at the many resources and tools Magnus and others who worked on the conversion made available.

Afterward, I sat down for a bit with Zooko to talk about Tahoe-LAFS, which appears to be an encrypted, distributed document store database with a http interface. Sounds really cool, and I’m interested in trying it out.

Now, I’m getting ready to head off to the party for the evening. Great day!