Describe your organization
CiviCRM is web-based, open source, Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software geared toward meeting the needs of non-profit and other civic-sector organizations which is used by ~9,000 organizations. CiviCRM is the CRM of several Google Summer of Code mentoring organizations from previous years including CERN, Creative Commons, Drupal Association, and Electronic Frontier Foundation. Organizations using CiviCRM manage donations, mass mailings (postal and email), event registration, and membership payments of more than 100 million contacts.
As a non profit committed to the public good, CiviCRM understands that forging and growing strong relationships with constituents is about more than collecting and tracking constituent data - it's about sustaining relationships with supporters over time. To this end, CiviCRM has created a robust web-based, open source, highly customizable CRM to meet organizations’ highest expectations right out-of-the box. Each new release of this open source software reflects the very real needs of its users as enhancements are continually given back to the community.
CiviCRM is localized in over 60 languages including: Chinese (Taiwan/China), Dutch, English (Australia/Canada/UK/US), French (France/Canada), German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.
We also have seen that these students can bring new ideas to the project, challenging the existing community of contributors to reevaluate assumptions and consider new approaches to solutions.
- Contributing to CiviCRM core
- Developing CiviCRM native extensions
- Developing CiviCRM related Drupal modules
- Developing CiviCRM related WordPress plugins
- Developing CiviCRM related Joomla components
- Writing and improving end-user and developer documentation
- Administering large / complex CiviCRM installations within an organisation
We have met all of them face to face and they have been proven reliable members of the community who delivered on their commitments.
- give them a task to prove they can use our development tools (i.e. install from git, update and do a Pull Request, write a unit test)
- ask them to commit to working full time on the project for the duration of the GSoC, and agree on the process for evaluation and regular check-ins
- have a one to one skype meeting with the student and the potential mentor
- ask them to participate in the community (eg. post in the forum, join on IRC)
- connect any student working on GSoC project by providing them with each others contact information and providing them a mailing list in order to establish a cohort
- all students are expected to log into #civicrm on irc.freenode.net AT LEAST once a week and encourage them to be online most of the time they work on the project
- require a daily "scrum meeting" in a forum thread reserved for their project to provide brief updates of what they have achieved the day before, the goal for the day and if they have any outstanding issues/roadblocks they require assistance with
- All students participating in development of CiviCRM extensions will be given access to a repo on github and expected to commit their Civix framework within 2 weeks of starting the project .
- Students working on core improvements will be expected to fork core into their own Github repo and file a basic Pull Request within 2 weeks of starting their project.
In addition to their mentor, students will be paired with a co-mentor from an organization using CiviCRM (Free Software Foundation, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, etc) or someone that has development experience but newer to the community.
Students are encouraged to discuss issues with their mentor (being overwhelmed, confused, frustrated etc), cohort, co-mentors, or other members of the CiviCRM community. Everyone involved in GSoC will know they can bring issues to CiviCRM's Organizational Administrators ( Emily Frazier or Xavier Dutoit). The Organizational Administrators will work with the mentor to resolve the issues and find another mentor from within the community if necessary. The Organizational Administrators will also keep up-to-date on student forum posts and check in with mentors on progress.
- All student work will be committed to public repository and/or deployed on a public testing site.
- Weekly check-ins are required via email or ~Skype (mentor and student should connect using Skype or other real time audio/video solution twice a month or more often when necessary, ie a student who is struggling may require weekly or sometimes daily check ins at the discretion of the mentor).
- Students should blog about their progress monthly on civicrm.org.
- All students should publicize their blog post on #civicrm on irc.freenode.net and ask for feedback from the community in IRC.
- Before be given a passing Midterm evaluation, students must create a screencast of their project (in whatever state it is in) requesting community feedback beyond that of their mentor, co-mentor, and cohort. In some cases there may not be a UI to demo at that point. In that case, the student should present any wireframes, mock ups, diagrams, schemas, documentation etc in a conference session style presentation explaining what they will be delivering during the second half of the term.
We realize that it may not be possible to completely avoid disappearing students, but we are confident that the improved process will allow us to identify and address issues as soon as possible.
Being able to interact with the community before the start is part of the evaluation criteria. Based on our experience last year, we will ask the mentors to encourage students to engage in open discussions in the forum; even if it is likely to be a mentor/student based discussion, it is beneficial to the community for the project progress to be posted publicly.
We have seen that the students that who remained involved from last year are the ones that had discussions with several members of the community, that got positive feedback and that saw that their work was used by real users in a real organisation. We have already started to ask end users in our meetings with the community and in the forum to join the discussions and provide feedback to the students before and during the program.
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