Roles and Responsibilities

There are always a lot of questions about what the expectations are for each role in the GCI and GSoC programs. Organizations have developed their own, and this has resulted in wide variation. This documentation aims to standardize expectations across all participating organizations.

Individual organizations may have additional roles and responsibilities. Talk to your Organization Administrator for more information.

Student Responsibilities

...to your Mentor

  • Submit quality work (GSoC: code, GCI: tasks)
  • Regularly communicate work completed, what you intend to do next, and blockers
    • Ask for help when something is preventing you from achieving a goal
    • Give indication that you are alive and working daily (GSoC)
  • Re-evaluate work scope when significantly ahead of expectations (GSoC)
  • Communicate with your mentor AND the broader community
  • Inform when work capacity will be reduced, as early as possible (e.g., family, health, other work) (GSoC)
  • Listen and respond to feedback

...to the Org Admin

  • Let them know when there are
    • Interaction issues with any mentor or community member
    • Significant disagreements involving your work or changes to your work plan

Mentor Responsibilities

...to your Org Admin

  • Communicate availability and interaction expectations
  • Inform when mentoring capacity will be reduced, as early as possible (e.g., family, health, vacation)
  • Inform when there is an issue with a student
    • Lacking communication, activity, visibility (MIA), or progress
    • Participant Agreement violations (e.g., plagiarism, harassment, fraud)
    • Bad fit or stepping down
  • Formally evaluate student participation
    • GSoC: Communicate with admin and student before failing

...to your Students

  • Help and/or teach the student how to
    • be a part of your community
    • communicate more effectively and in the open
    • work with your org’s preferred communication channel (IRC, Slack, etc)
    • use your org’s version control system
    • ask good questions and get answers to their questions
    • provide convincing technical argument and constructive discussion
    • be independently motivated and productive
    • solve difficult technical problems
  • Keep track of their progress, keep student informed as to their status
  • Communicate on a regular basis, once a week or better (for GSoC)
    • Give constructive feedback, be patient (particularly for GCI), and be respectful
    • Respond to questions within 24 hours (occasionally under 36 hours is ok)
  • Establish realistic work objectives and timeline expectations
  • Re-evaluate scope with student when significantly ahead of or behind expectations
    • GCI: Give them extra time on a task as warranted
  • Work with devs and community to facilitate acceptance of student work

Org Admin Responsibilities

...to Google

  • Frame org participation, org selection criteria, and org-specific operating procedures
  • Submit the org application and be the org’s representative
  • Serve as communication liaison with Google
    • Respond to any inquiries from Google within 36 hours
    • Report Participant Agreement violations (e.g., harassment, plagiarism, fraud)
    • Report student withdrawal (GSoC)
  • Ensure all deadlines are met (e.g., slot requests, mentor evaluations, org invoices)
  • Select and invite trusted, capable, and qualified mentors
  • Provide and maintain an adequate list of project and task ideas
  • Oversee activity of all mentors and students ensuring responsibilities are being met

...to your Mentors

  • Frame org participation, mentor requirements, failure process, and procedure
  • Communicate mentor expectations before the program starts
  • Communicate student selection, continued participation, and dismissal policy
    • Provide selection criteria for GCI finalists/winners and GSoC slot allocations
    • Describe how Participant Agreement violations and failure with be handled
  • Continuously evaluate mentor interaction with students
    • Recognize conflicts of interest, interpersonal issues, and replace as necessary
  • Let mentors know when more tasks or project ideas are needed
  • Maintain regular communication with mentors before and during the program
  • Ensure adequate and appropriate mentoring coverage, particularly near holidays

...to your Students

  • Let students know how, when, and why to contact the org admin
  • Ensure students are introduced and become appropriately integrated
  • Communicate org-specific requirements (e.g., time, coding, communication, licensing)
  • Communicate org-specific expectations (e.g., behavior, best practices, visibility)
  • Communicate deadlines, acceptance criteria, and failure/dismissal policy
  • Monitor communications and ensure inappropriate behavior is addressed
  • Ensure students at risk of failure or dismissal are notified in advance

Special thanks to Sean, Terri, Hong Phuc, Valorie, and Mario, veteran GSoC and GCI Organization Administrators, for working with Google's Program Administrators to put this document together.