Students should propose what they actually intend to accomplish,
what they know about that task, and details about their background.
Ability to perform the task is outright presumed by submitting a
proposal. Students should propose a project catered to their ability
that can be completed within the timeframe of the program. Students
can demonstrate coding experience with patches.
Early submissions are encouraged as it gives more time to review
proposals in detail, offer feedback, and maybe ask questions.
Submitting closer to the deadline isn’t bad other than not getting
feedback in advance.
Be Detailed and Articulate. Go into detail about what you
intend to do and how you intend to do it. Don’t have typos
and be clear in your writing. Cite academic references if
they’re relevant to your work. Create diagrams, show prototypes,
create mock-up visuals, and provide more information via external
links. You don’t have to solve everything, but we need to see
that you’ve thought things through.
Get Involved Early. Join IRC, say hi on the mailing list,
download the source code, and try things out. Talk to others,
get to know who is who. Communicate early, communicate often.
Be Bold. We love innovative ideas. Make sure yours is in scope
and is something we’re interested in mentoring, but you’re not
limited to our ideas. Be ambitious and thorough in your solution.
Be Realistic. Make sure the scope of your work is feasible and
that you will have the necessary skills to implement your project
on time. No bonus for proposing to reinvent the Internet. If you’ve
got another job or commitment, your proposal should account for
Be Passionate. Show enthusiasm for your idea. Be excited. Passion
is never a substitute for competence, but vastly helps your chances
all other factors being equal.
Don’t copy/paste. If all you have to say about the project idea is
what we wrote, it will be rejected. They are just meant to be starting
Don’t be brief. Anticipate questions, include details. If your
application is less than a few hundred words, you’re probably not
including necessary detail about your plans or yourself. Brief
proposals very quickly get cut.
Don’t be intimidated. We don’t bite. Your ideas will be questioned,
we might disagree, and that’s okay. It means we’re interested. You will
need to be able to talk about your ideas without getting defensive, be
open to compromise, and take suggestions from others.
Don’t be discouraged. We have accepted those with no experience to
experts and everything in between. Cater your application to your
skills and you’ll do just fine. You’re expected to work hard and do
your homework researching questions, but you’re encouraged ask for
help if you truly get stuck too.
Don’t forget to tell us about yourself. Most of what we know about
you and your abilities is going to come from your application. Include
details about your background, experience, and anything else relevant
to your work. If you have obligations that will impact your proposal,
be upfront. You should be interacting with our community on IRC or on
the developer mailing list long before you submit your proposal so we
have an idea how you interact. Don’t forget to mention your IRC nick
in your application.
There is intentionally no specific format to our applications. BUT…
students are strongly encouraged to be creative, detailed, and discuss
throughout the application process. Use a wiki page or the mailing list
so your proposal can be reviewed before it’s officially submitted. Final
proposals should include at least the following information:
Brief background info
(optional) Link to resumé
Brief project summary (<500 words)
Detailed project description (>500 words)
Links to any code or algorithms you intend to use
Deliverables (specific, measurable goals)
List at least three milestones
Describe time availability (40+ hours/week assumed)
List all commitments (e.g., exams, vacations)
(optional) Why us?
(optional) Why you?
(optional) Anything else?
You must agree to our participation requirements should you get selected.