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The three months long (and six months long considering the preparation time) of Google Summer of Code has come to an end and therefore, I see myself again at the fork of choices on what I should do. But… before getting on to that part I would like to summarise my experience as a GSoC 2018 student. — Just a few hours ago I submitted the final student evaluations and, it didn’t feel like any of the previous evaluations I’ve submitted. I could distinctly notice the emotions I was going through; no more evaluations, no more deadlines and no more late night work on the project that has been the integral part of me for the who summers; it’s weird and slightly saddening.
When I began with my project, I had a little more than half of the knowledge about the technologies which I’ve used till now; only part I was proficient in (I thought at that time) was Python. It has been a steep learning curve for me; from learning how to create a project structure to multiple libraries has been drastic and fruitful towards my growth.
What I felt that GSoC teaches you, and is most important perk of GSoC, is the confidence gain which we get of working on large projects and being able to handler all the logistics. I also realised in the process that working on a project is a lot more than just writing code; it involves human interaction (which mostly slows down the process), making sure your code is human readable (most important), creating sufficient logs to pin-point issues in future and much more; it gets sometimes tiring if you had been just expecting coding.
Another perk of GSoC, besides all the Google promises you, is the community that we become a part of as developers; you get to meet a lot of people that have done many things in life which are of value in different fields of science (and technology) and talking them makes you feel down to earth, which is crucial since clearing GSoC creates a bubble of accomplishment and puts you inside it.
I can go on and on about the experience, but I’ll keep it brief for the fear of repeating experiences and also getting deeper into specific parts which certainly will make the entire article confusing due to lack of context. In a nutshell, GSoC is one of the closest experience you can get to industry level development work and it is by far the best use of summers for a freshman or a sophomore.
I haven’t passed my final evaluations; though I don’t see any reason why I won’t. My final project has been submitted and I’m looking forward to choose a new path to walk on; which is certainly the toughest part. Once you know where to walk on, it’s just the hardwork required to keep on moving, but choosing the path and then making sure you don’t regret it later is tough and worst part is you might realise it too late.
Life would have been simple, but boring, had paths been leading to dead ends!