This year we participated in the Google Summer of Code. GSoC is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects (see more).

We got three students working in various android projects (event viewer and pandroid agent) and firefox/chrome extensions; and with them, three of our team members as mentors.

Once the summer is over and the final evaluations of the projects are done, the last step (for this year) was to have an amazing meeting with GsoC mentors worldwide. This opportunity is possible in the yearly Mentors Summit celebrated at the Google Headquarters (California) the last weekend (October 19th-21st).

Two out of our three mentors travelled to the event:

  • Sergio Martín Zarzuelo(me): Mentor of Mark Holland in the Pandroid Agent project.

Friday 19th, the arrival.

We arrived to the Domain Hotel the friday in the afternoon. We rested for a while and went so excited to the first contact with the other mentors: The Dinner at the Wild Palms Hotel.

We dined good thai food and had some beers with other mentors talking about our experiences with the students and introducing our projects.

Saturday 20th, the start

We took a shuttle from our Hotel to Googleplex.

The arrival was amazing, hundreds of mentors ready to enjoy the weekend breakfasting at Charlie’s Cafe.

We were welcomed by Carol Smith and all the Summit staff after the breakfast.

The unconferences schedule were announced on a panels, and we all shared our project stickers on a big table. Tshirts, flags and other mentor summit things of this year and previous ones were placed on the same table available to anyone. The Mentor Summit of GSoC 2012 was officialy started.

The first activity that we did was form a human queue to shake the hand of any other mentors. Great way to know us.

After that, the first unconferences started: Time to share.

Community, gsoc projects management, programming languages or open source videogames were some of the topics of the unconferences. We chose our favorite topics and we attend them willing to learn and participate.

A break to lunch on the outside of the Googleplex buildings and more unconferences until 5 p.m., the time of the group photo.

Photo By Robin Smidsrød

Time to rest and italian dinner at the Wild Palms Hotel. More time to share experiences with another mentors. We were so many that was possible have long conversations with different people along all the weekend.

Sunday 21st, second journey and closure

The Sunday schedule was similar to the previous day, but more directly to the unconferences because we already knew each other.

Breakfast, unconferences, spontaneous meetings at the common zones, break for lunch and more interesting unconferences were done until the closure event at Charlie’s Cafe.

We were really busy all the day, but we had time to visit the Google Store and other interesting Googleplex zones riding the colorful Google bikes.

One of the best places is Casablanca, the chocolate room. A really nice place where share and eat all kind of chocolates, relax yourself playing with Lego and plasticine, and talk with amazing people.

After the closure, shuttles transported the mentors to airports and hotels. The organization of the summit was simply perfect.

Thanks to all the Google Staff and of course to all the mentors.

We hope see you next year 🙂